The Blue Jackets had reached the point of anger with their power play. Coach Todd Richards grumbled after the morning skate that the approach was all wrong. Defenseman James Wisniewski angrily removed headphones and stomped away in disgust after answering a question about the power play during a scoreboard interview following a shoddy second period. “It wasn’t affecting games in a positive way for a pretty long time,” center Mark Letestu said. “That’s how I would say it. Richie said it with a few more words mixed in there.” So who could have guessed that by the end of last night, the Blue Jackets would be celebrating a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning and thanking their power play for making it happen. Nathan Horton scored on a wrist shot from atop the left circle at 3:09 of the third period, and Letestu’s stick was the last to touch a Jack Johnson slap shot before it whizzed past Tampa Bay goaltender Anders Lindback for the winner with 2:38 remaining. “We’ve had our ups and downs with it this year, that’s for sure,” Johnson said. “But we’re happy with it now. It came up with two big ones when we really needed it.” The Blue Jackets have won four straight games for the first time this season. In a four-day span, they have defeated Carolina at home, won at Winnipeg and returned home to steal one from the Lightning. The Jackets were 1-15-0 when trailing after two periods, and the Lightning was 17-1-0 with the lead after two. “It’s a ‘character’ win,” Letestu said. “It’s a game we needed. We know we have to start making a move here if we’re going to get where we want to be.” The Blue Jackets clearly were the hungrier team in the first period, establishing a forecheck and outhustling the Lightning for several pucks. But there was no reward, and when a 0-0 game drifted into the second period, it turned sloppy and chaotic — the Lightning’s preferred style.
Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 2: Power play revived
Columbus Dispatch | Jan 14