by Jonathan Satell
A three game Friday night left hockey fans on the edge of their seats for a fantastic kickoff to NHL Hockey Weekend. Friday’s games started off in Columbus with the Blue Jackets taking on the undefeated Montreal Canadiens. What started out as a fast paced, typical game, quickly turned into an unforeseen Blue Jackets domination. Columbus scored their first at 10:56 in the first period and never looked back. The Blue Jackets scored two more in the first, five in the second, and two more in the third to make it a 10-0 win. There were four Blue Jackets (Anderson, Atkinson, Foligno, and Hartnell) each with two goal games. All except two players for Columbus got at least one point on the night. This is the first time since 1996 that a team had a shutout and scored at least 10 goals in the game. This was also a record breaking night for the Blue Jackets who had never scored more than eight goals in a game. Montreal had only let up 13 goals in their prior 10 games this season and while everyone knew a loss was going to come to the then undefeated Canadians, this was unexpected and a memorable night for Blue Jackets fans.
The second game of the night brought us to Hockeytown, where the Red Wings faced the Winnipeg Jets for the Jets last ever regular season visit to Joe Louis Arena. Both Winnipeg and Detroit were out to snap three game losing streaks. The Jets looked like they were not ready to play with Detroit dominating the first 10 minutes of the first period and scoring just over 3 minutes into the game. Winnipeg seemed to find their legs in the second half of the period with a goal from Patrik Laine coming at 15:30 of the first period. The Rookies 7th goal of the season, and he now leads all rookies in number of goals across the league. Zetterberg notched his second of the season at 9:40 of the second period in a fashion that has not been seen before. Zetterberg’s goal was originally called off as a high stick by the referee one the ice and then overturned by the referees and the linesmen on the ice before it could be reviewed in the Toronto situation room, where it was also seen as a good goal. The situation room can only overturn a call on the ice if they have conclusive evidence. The situation room was also called into review both of Winnipeg’s next two goals. The first was just a play missed by the referees and the second took a long time since the call on the ice was no goal and the puck was lost under Mrazek. Tied at 3 late in the third period Brandon Tanev put in his second of the night, and second of his career, to make it 4-3 Jets. Tanev’s goal turned out to be the game winner as Winnipeg went on to score an empty netter and snap their three game losing streak. Detroit will be looking to snap their now four game losing streak Sunday afternoon against the Edmonton Oilers.
Friday’s final game took place in Anaheim with the Ducks taking on the Arizona Coyotes. Anaheim was looking to end a two game home losing streak where they had lost by a combined score of 9-1. The Ducks came out firing, scoring three goals in the first period on 21 shots. In the second period the Coyotes showed some life with a goal by McGinn coming with just over three minutes to play in the second period to make it a 4-1 game. It was too late however for Arizona with Rakell scoring his second of the night to make it a 5-1 final in favor of Anaheim. Anaheim will look to extend their home win streak Sunday night against Calgary while the Coyotes will have a few days off to get prepared for their next game on Tuesday in Colorado against the Avalanche.