Bobrovsky delivers in a second-straight low-scoring win
MONTREAL — The Blue Jackets can’t continue to rely on Sergei Bobrovsky to rescue them.
Not like he did Saturday in Detroit, and then once again Tuesday night.
For now, though, they’ll happily settle on picking up points while their two-time Vezina Trophywinning goalie pushes them forward.
Bobrovsky was brilliant, and Zach Werenski scored the winning goal from the slot 1:09 into overtime to give the Jackets their second consecutive 2-1 win on the road, this time against the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
“We’re just finding ways to win,” said Werenski, who was set up in overtime by Cam Atkinson. “Obviously, we’d like to end it in regulation and score a few more goals. It’s tough to win when you score one goal in regulation. But we’re finding ways and getting two points. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters, so we’re happy with it.”
The Jackets have won six of the seven games this season that have been decided in overtime or by a shootout, which includes a 2-1 win Saturday in a nineround shootout.
Bobrovsky made 28 saves, including several stellar stops. One of his best came on a 2-on-1 Canadiens rush when he dropped his stick and deflected Jacob De La Rose’s shot with his blocker while fully stretched.
“Everyone can see how valuable he is to our team,” Werenski said. “Whenever he’s back there, you feel like you’re going to win the game. It’s unbelievable how lucky we are to have a guy like that back in net for us.”
There was only so much that even Bobrovsky could do, though. Montreal eventually scored to pull even when Paul Byron stuck in a rebound of Shea Weber’s shot off Bobrovsky’s right pad with 7:46 left.
Bobrovsky received little scoring support. For the fourth consecutive game, the Jackets gave their goalie just one goal in regulation.
“We needed the points, and the game dictated those conditions,”
Continued recent mastery against Canadiens with 28 saves Fifth goal of season was the winner for an offensively challenged team Created several scoring chances and stuck in a rebound for the tying goal
Bobrovsky said. “You have to be focused. You have to work, and you have to step up for your teammates when they need it.”
Just as on Saturday at Detroit, that came early. Stationed in front of Montreal goalie Charlie Lindgren, Josh Anderson deflected Markus Nutivaara’s shot with his elbow, and then whacked the puck in off one bounce.
Anderson’s teamleading seventh goal came just 2:29 into the game and set the tone for a strong first period for the Jackets, who outshot the Canadiens 10-8. For the 15th consecutive time, though, they failed to score on a power play.
On their next 2:29. Penalties—Benn, MTL, (tripping), 12:00; Werenski, COL, (interference), 15:26.
Penalties—Shaw, MTL, (tripping), 8:10; Schroeder, COL, (holding), 16:53.
2. Montreal, Byron 4 (Weber, Galchenyuk), 12:14.
3. Columbus, Werenski 5 (Dubinsky, Atkinson), 1:09. man-advantage midway through the second period, they nearly surrendered a goal and their 1-0 lead. Paul Byron bore down on Bobrovsky on a breakaway, but the goalie made a right-pad save to preserve the lead.
The Jackets came into the game with a five-game point streak (4-0-1) against the Canadiens, having outscored them 22-6 during that stretch. As he was Tuesday night, Bobrovsky was brilliant in the three most-recent matchups, posting a 2-0-1 record, .979 save percentage and 0.65 goals-against average.