Birds chirping in the spring. Children laughing in a park. Maple Leafs fans booing at Air Canada Centre. That might be a short list of “beautiful sounds” for NHL players who aren’t bedecked in blue and white. Last night, the Blue Jackets put the finishing touches on a season sweep of Toronto, dominating the final two periods of a 2-1 victory in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,577. Artem Anisimov and Dalton Prout scored for the Blue Jackets, and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky had 28 saves and came within 4:15 of his seventh career shutout. In the process, the Blue Jackets prompted the locals to serenade the Leafs with boos as they left the ice after the second period and at the end of the game, not to mention a few times in between. “You know this place rocks as hard as any rink in the league when they’re playing well,” Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski said. “But you know you’re doing your job when the home crowd turns on them. “And it sounds awesome.” The victory might have come at a premium, however. Rookie defenseman Ryan Murray suffered an apparent injury to his left ankle or knee when his leg was tangled during a check late in the first period. Murray skated off without putting any weight on the leg and did not return to the game. Afterward, coach Todd Richards said: “I don’t sense that it’s serious, but it might be something that keeps him out.” The Blue Jackets seemed to use his absence as a rallying cry, playing with five defensemen the rest of the game but suffering no ill effects. After being outshot 12-8 in the first period — the Leafs used two power plays to carry the momentum in the first 20 minutes — the Blue Jackets were in charge the rest of the way. “We switched up some things in the neutral zone, and that allowed us to come into the zone with more speed on the forecheck,” Richards said. “Once we got there, we started to win battles. “We started to grind it down on them, and that took a toll on them. We had some shifts that were 30, 40 and 50 seconds, all in their zone.” The breakthrough happened midway through the second period.
Blue Jackets 2, Maple Leafs 1: Music to their ears
Columbus Dispatch | Mar 4