Saturday, December 31, 2016
Blue Jackets extend win streak to 15, end Wild's streak at 12
On December 31st, 2016, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Minnesota Wild were set to make history. They were going to play the first game in professional sports history where both teams had a double digit win streak, with the Jackets winning 14 straight, and the Wild being victors in 12 consecutive.
The goalie matchup was scheduled to be both teams' starters, Sergei Bobrovsky in net for Columbus, and Devan Dubnyk between the pipes for Minnesota.
In the first period, only one goal occurred when Columbus winger Cam Atkinson scored on a breakaway, his 16th goal of the season. Center Brandon Dubinsky got the only assists, no. 12 on the campaign. 1-0 Blue Jackets.
The second period was just as calm. I'm just kidding because there was a total of 4 goals in the period. First, defenseman Jack Johnson, at 3:29 of the period, beat Dubnyk, giving the Jackets a 2-0 lead. It was the vet's 2nd time this season lighting the lamp, with winger Brandon Saad getting his 17th helper, and center Alex Wennberg's 25th. Later in the period, it's Atkinson beating "Dubby" again, his 17th of the season, giving "CBJ" a 3-0 lead. Defenseman Ryan Murray (4) and Markus Nutivaara (5) record assists on the goal. It seemed like the Wild weren't even trying, or were they?
When Johnson scored at 3:29, Atkinson scored at 3:44, 25 seconds later. At this point, the Wild were mad. Generating chances in the offensive zone, C Mikael Granlund finally beat Bobrovsky, his 10th of the season, at 5:58, making it a 3-1 game. defenseman Jared Spurgeon (11) and center/captain Mikko Koivu (15) get helpers on the PPG. The Jackets came right back, as defenseman Seth Jones beat Dubnyk, the fourth time this night. Jones scored his 7th of the season. Saad got another assist, no. 18 on the year, and winger/captain Nick Foligno got his 20th helper, giving Columbus a 4-1 lead, as the second period ended.
The only goal in the 3rd period was scored by Minnesota winger Jason Zucker, netting his 9th on the year. Granlund tallied his 19th assist on the season, and Spurgeon put up his 2nd of the game, now with 12 helpers on the year. That was the only tally of the period, as the Jackets held on to win 4-2.
The loss ended a franchise record win streak at 12 games for the Wild. The Jackets continue their franchise long streak, now at 15 games, 2 wins away from tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins record of 17 consecutive wins. Shots in the game were actually 31-25 in favor of the Wild, but Bobrovsky stood strong. All 14 games in December for the Jackets were Ws. We'll see if the Jackets can make it 18 straight, in 2017.