The Columbus Blue Jackets decided to go all in this season by acquiring Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Adam McQuaid before the trade deadline passed. It remains to be seen if that will pay off, but at least they know now that they will be going to the playoffs. With a 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers, Columbus has officially secured a Wild Card spot.
The Blue Jackets first round opponent hasn’t been determined yet, but getting past Round 1 will be an uphill battle. Columbus will either finish with the second Wild Card seed and face the Presidents’ Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning or surpass the Carolina Hurricanes and battle the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals instead. Columbus has never won a playoff series before and with so many key players set to become UFAs, the hope was that this would be the year that changed. That isn’t likely to happen, but at least the Blue Jackets still have hope.
COLUMBUS 3 NY RANGERS 2 (SO)
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 of 27 shots in the shootout. He was perfect in three shootout rounds to earn the win.
Alexandar Georgiev saved 39 of 41 shots prior to the skills competition. He surrendered a goal in two rounds of the shootout.
Chris Kreider scored a goal for the Rangers. It was his 28th goal and 52nd point in 78 contests.
Artemi Panarin found the back of the net in the third period and accounted for the shootout goal. He has 28 goals and 85 points in 78 games.
Ryan Dzingel netted the Blue Jackets’ other goal. That gives him 26 goals and 56 points in 77 games.
CHICAGO 6 DALLAS 1
Dallas’ lone goal was scored by Joel L'Esperance. It was his second goal and point in 18 career games.
Patrick Kane scored a pair of goals for Chicago. That gives him 44 goals and 109 points in 80 contests.
Two of Chicago’s six goals were assisted on by Jonathan Toews. He’s up to 35 goals and 81 points in 81 games.
Anton Khudobin stopped 26 of 32 Blackhawks shots. That ended his run of three straight starts where he allowed two goals each time.
ANAHEIM 5 LOS ANGELES 2
Jack Campbell stopped 28 of 32 Ducks shots Friday nights. He surrendered at least one goal in each period.
At the other end of the ice, John Gibson saved 44 of 46 shots. He’s won four straight games, bringing his record up to 26-22-8.
Carl Grundstrom found the back of the net for the Kings. It was his fifth goal in 14 contests this season.
Jakob Silfverberg scored a goal and registered an assist. The Ducks forward is up to 24 goals and 43 points in 73 games.
Daniel Sprong netted the game-winning goal. That gives him 14 goals and 23 points in 63 contests.