NEWARK, N.J. — Making the playoffs for the third time in franchise history is just the first step for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
There’s much more serious work ahead for coach John Tortorella and his team in the next few weeks: making a run at the Stanley Cup.
Lukas Sedlak and Brandon Dubinsky scored on penalty shots and the Blue Jackets returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 4-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, March 19.
There was some laughter heard outside the Blue Jackets’ locker room before it opened and Tortorella said he wanted his players to enjoy the night. Then it’s back to work.
“It gives us an opportunity to talk about it,” Tortorella said of clinching. “We are in. To me, it’s the start of a road. You work that hard throughout the year, the amount of games you have to play; it gives you an opportunity to start your journey that you want to be on.”
The win was the fourth straight for the Blue Jackets, gave them their first 100-point season and moved them into a tie with Washington for the NHL’s best record with 11 games left.
“It’s tight,” Dubinsky said of the standings. “We’re going to just keep pushing and keep looking up. The sky’s the limit. We’ll see how far we can get.”
This game was also one for the record book.
This was only the third time in NHL history that a team scored twice in a game on penalty shots. Thomas Gradin and Ivan Hlinka of Vancouver did it against Detroit in 1982, and Ryane Clowe and Joe Thornton of San Jose converted against Washington in 2009.
Boone Jenner added two goals, one short-handed and the other into an…
click here to read more.