The wild west road trip is over, and it treated the Columbus Blue Jackets well.
The boys in blue grabbed six of eight possible points on a trip out west, concluding with an impressive 3-0 victory over the elite Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday night.
The Blue Jackets found scoring from up and down the lineup and were stout defensively, but Elvis Merzlikins stole the show. Against the tenth-ranked goal scoring team in the NHL, the rookie goaltender stopped 27 shots en route to his first career shutout.
Emil Bemstrom welcomed himself back to the lineup with a rifle of a power play goal less than four minutes remaining in the first period, and the Blue Jackets held the lead for the remainder of the contest. It was Bemstrom's second game on the ice since a rib injury put him out since Dec. 11.
The party continued in the second period as Pierre-Luc Dubois notched his team-leading (tied with Zach Werenski) 15th of the season with a tip-in score on a slick low shot from Scott Harrington.
Vegas began to turn up the heat towards the end of the second period, and as they come knocking harder at the start of the third frame, the Blue Jackets locked it down in their own end. Finally, Alexander Wennberg (of all people) gave the team some breathing room with a whistling five-hole score on Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Golden Knights pressed as much as they could, but Columbus had the game in their control. After being dead in the water just over a month ago, the Blue Jackets are right back in the playoff mix. Believe it, folks.
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