Bobrovskys 30 saves lift CBJs past Sharks, 4-0
the associated press | April 10,2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sergei Bobrovsky picked up his fourth career shutout — all in his last 15 games — and newcomer Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist Tuesday night, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Matt Calvert, James Wisniewski and Ryan Johansen also scored for the Blue Jackets, who had lost their last two games.
Bobrovsky didn’t have a shutout in his first 98 NHL appearances. He has put up a brick wall in front of the net since Columbus went on a late tear to rise from last in the league to contention for a playoff spot. He made 30 saves, including stopping Patrick Marleau’s point-blank wrister in the third period and Dan Boyle’s hard, power-play slap shot in the second.
The game was crucial for both teams, but particularly the Blue Jackets, who began the night in a tie for 10th in the West, four points behind eighth-place Detroit. San Jose came in fifth in the West with 47 points, but just seven points from falling out of the race.
The Blue Jackets have gotten points in 17 of their last 21 games (12-4-5). They had a four-game home winning streak ended Sunday night by Minnesota, 3-0. That defeat also snapped a club-record 12-game points streak at home (9-0-3).
The Sharks were coming off a seven-game homestand on which they picked up 13 of 14 possible points, losing in overtime to Dallas on Sunday before hitting the road. The game Tuesday opened a four-game swing that will also take them to Detroit, Dallas and Phoenix.
Columbus had been manhandled in the second period 48 hours earlier by Minnesota, but this time it was the Blue Jackets who took charge. Up 1-0, they had 11 of the first 12 shots while scoring twice.
Wisniewski made it 2-0 just 3:09 in, taking a pass from defense partner Adrian Aucoin to blast a rising one-timer past Antti Niemi from the middle of the blue line.
Less than 2 minutes later, Gaborik, playing his second home game for the Blue Jackets, set up Johansen to make it 3-0.
Gaborik was being guarded by two Sharks in the right circle when he slid a backhand pass to Johansen in the slot. He went down to one knee on the one-timer high into the net.
Late in the period, TJ Galiardi, trailing the play, rammed into Bobrovsky and flattened him. The goalie was attended to by a trainer before getting a standing ovation as he rose to his skates.
Gaborik benefited from a perfect setup from Artem Anisimov, a former teammate with the Rangers, in the third period. Skating behind the Sharks defense, Gaborik took the pass, faked Niemi to the ice with a forehand and then tapped in the puck with a backhand.
The hard work of the Blue Jackets’ third line supplied the first goal, keeping the puck in the offensive zone. Late in a long shift, Mark Letestu passed around the back boards to Cam Atkinson, whose wraparound attempt was deflected by the stick of Niemi. But Calvert was right there to take the puck off Niemi’s stick and jam in his eighth goal.
San Jose’s Adam Burish scored with 5:21 left in the third with a blind swat at the puck from his knees. but the goal was instantly waved off because he was in the crease.
Islanders 4, Flyers 1
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Michael Grabner scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves as the New York Islanders took another step toward the playoffs with a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
The Islanders won for the seventh time in nine games and moved two points ahead of the idle Rangers into seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia is 12th in the East, five points behind the Rangers and the postseason cutoff.
New York has been tied or ahead in the third period in 34 of 40 games but won for only the second time when scoring two goals or fewer (2-14-2). The Islanders are 18-2-2 when they score at least three. Jakub Voracek gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first period.
Penguins 5, Hurricanes 3
RALEIGH, N.C. — Beau Bennett and Evgeni Malkin scored 13 seconds apart in the third period and the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division title by beating the free-falling Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Brenden Morrow scored his first goal with the Penguins, Robert Bortuzzo added a goal, and Pascal Dupuis had an empty-netter and two assists.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 25 saves for Penguins, who were without a handful of regulars — including captain Sidney Crosby, James Neal and Kris Letang — but still had plenty of timely firepower to hand the Hurricanes their club-record eighth straight home loss.
Joe Corvo and Bobby Sanguinetti scored early goals for the Hurricanes, and Riley Nash put them up 3-2 exactly 2 minutes into the third.