Crazy 3rd Period...Jackets Fall in the End
Through all of Game 4 and the first period and a half of Game 5 the Jackets looked lethargic, lack-luster and tired. Where has the intensity gone? There was a stretch of four straight periods in which the Jackets hadn't scored. It looked as if they had given up.
Krejci's change up, knuckle ball goal seemed steal any momentum the Jackets had begun to build in the 2nd. This goal was just one of those fluke hockey goals where the puck-has-eyes as they say. Krejci's stick was checked, the shot was not clean but on net, and Bob was in position. Bob's right leg pad came up ever so slightly as it looked like he was preparing to scramble forward in anticipation for a rebound shot. This quick lift allowed the puck to squeeze under and in. Not really anyone to blame for that goal, good hockey plays all around and credit Krejci for getting the puck on net while being well defended.
Goal #2 on the other hand lacked defense all around, except in net. On a set faceoff play Marchand slid from a defensive position to the front of the net, slipped behind the net as the puck was driven hard down the left wing below the circle then re-emerged un-checked on the back side of the net. His first shot would have beat most goalies but Bob made an acrobatic save. Before the CBJ faithful even stopped cheering that save Marchand, still un-checked, fired a rebound shot in the net as Sergei was still trying to recover. No one stopped the puck being driven down the left wing causing Werenski to make a decision, attack the puck or stay on his back side assignment. He went for the puck late, Bob bail him out was a spectacular save and Marchand got a second attempt. That attempt was facilitated by the fact that PLD who had the opportunity to disrupt Marchand's second attempt or recover the rebound took a fly-bye of the net.
At this point the life had been sucked out of the CBJ faithful as they continued to watch their team be limited in scoring chances and Rask stand up to every high-danger attempt with ease.
Things started to change mid-way through the final frame. Jones caught Rask just off his post to sneak the puck off his pads and in. In years past, before the NHL implemented the clear section around the bottom of the goal netting, this would not have been a goal. Video replay confirmed that Rask had done a great job of hiding the fact it went in as he carefully pulled it out with his right skate as he got up. This goal opened the flood gates.
A quick response by Boston, as Pastrnak froze Bobrovsky on a 2-on-1 restored the two-goal lead. But just a quick Dzingel (BAZINGA!) roofed a sharp-angle-back-side rebound to once again cut the lead to one. It was his first goal of the playoffs and rewarded him for a solid night of play. Quoting a buddy I was watching the game with, "Are we watching the Big Bang Theory? They keep saying BAZINGA!." Make no mistake he knew that Dzingel was having a good game but it had been a number of games since we had heard his name mentioned so much. And thus a new nickname is born.
That got the Jackets buzzing. With roughly 6 minutes left Panarin received a quality chance on a back-side set up pass, but he bobbled it allowing the Bruin D to get back in position. Rather than firing a shot (as the CBJ faithful everywhere were yelling for him to do) he spotted a wide open Kukan whose blast from between the circles found the twine. Jackets nation rejoiced as their team had equalized the game.
As the game ticked down and I settled in with a fresh beer for OT, Pastrnak dashed the hope of the Jackets with a goal under 2 minutes. On the play a bad defensive read by recently added Vladislav Gavorkiv, led to Pasta getting a prime chance as Panarin trailed him. Pastrnak's struggles in this series are a thing of the past as he had no problem finishing off a beautiful feed.
Surprisingly this didn't finish off the Jackets. Duchene and Foligno got prime scoring chances in the final minute with Bob pulled and six skaters on. It was not meant to be as Duchene's attempt slid into the post rather than the back of the net.
Boston has a chance to move on and face CAR while the Jackets can force Game 7 on Monday and NWA.
Texier was out with Gavorkiv in, giving the Jackets 7 defensmen for the game. Clendening just kept a seat warm logging only 3 minutes of ice time. Gavorkiv was solid most of the game, but was out there for both Pastrnak goals, including making a bad read on the game winner.
Still no Nash even though he was expected to play. He can make a difference in this series and hopefully will be able to go on Monday.
Dzingel (BAZINGA!, I'm going to make this nickname a thing, I promise) got the message that Torts sent him. He was all over the ice and scored a goal-scorer's-goal, igniting the CBJ in the 3rd.
Bob was good, made some highlight saves, but gave up some that he would have liked to have back. In his mind, I would imagine, he believes he should have only given up one goal or should have had a shutout. He was noticeably frustrated after the Marchand put-back goal. It is unclear if he was frustrated at himself - which he should not have been - or the lack of coverage on the play.
Post game comments had Torts all but guaranteeing victory in Game 6 as he said the Jackets would be back in Boston. Bold statement meant to motivate his team and instill confidence could end up as bulletin board material for the Bruins.
Here are your SportsNet 5-minute highlights from the game: