The Columbus Blue Jackets are on their way to the playoffs for the first time since the 2014-15 season and only the third time in franchise history. They officially punched their tickets to the postseason on Sunday afternoon with a 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.
It was a rather unconventional win, too, at least when you consider how the Blue Jackets scored their goals — two penalty shots (one of which came while shorthanded), a shorthanded goal and an empty net.
Not really the way most teams draw it up, but it worked for the Blue Jackets on Sunday.
It is only the third time in NHL history that a team has scored on two penalty shots in the same game.
Lukas Sedlak opened the scoring for Columbus early in the first period when he scored on his first career penalty shot attempt after he was hooked on a breakaway by Devils captain Andy Greene. The Blue Jackets added to that lead just a few minutes later when Boone Jenner, following an incredible individual effort, was able to get a fortunate bounce on a shot from below the goal line.
Midway through the second period Brandon Dubinsky scored on a penalty shot of his own.
Along with clinching a playoff spot on Sunday the Blue Jackets also reached the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history. For a team that finished the 2015-16 season as one of the NHL’s worst and entered this season with almost no expectations this has been a pretty drastic one-year turnaround as they are now tied with the Washington Capitals for the best record in the NHL with less than a month to play in the regular season. Probably not what anybody expected to see at the start of the year.