Sergei Bobrovsky steals goal from James Neal with great pad save

Sergei Bobrovsky got off to a rocky start this season, but the Columbus Blue Jackets netminder turned in a gem of a performance Friday. He turned away all 39 shots he faced including an absolute robbery of James Neal in the second frame.

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t get off to a hot start in 2015-16 and the same could be said for netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. But since the hiring of John Tortorella, the Blue Jackets are an above .500 team and Bobrovsky, the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner, is starting to heat up.

If you needed evidence of Bobrovsky’s improved play, look no further than his absolutely brilliant left pad save on James Neal in the second period of Friday’s contest. Bobrovsky was screened by Cody Hodgson in front when a pass from Calle Jarnkrok was put right on Neal’s tape. Neal didn’t waste a second getting the puck off of his stick, but Bobrovsky lunged out with the left pad to turn aside the shot with his toe:

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The save by Bobrovsky was one of 39 he made on way to a brilliant blanking of the Predators. For Bobrovsky, it was his first shutout of what has been a tough year at times. Through the first five games of the season, Bobrovsky allowed 23 goals against and had a save percentage as poor as .832. Bobrovsky has battled back, however, and heading into Friday’s game was up to a 3.18 goals-against average and .894 SP.

Bobrovsky has had a tough time since his Vezina-winning season thanks to injuries, but if he can keep putting up the stellar performances he has over the past several games, he could very well help the Blue Jackets move up the Metropolitan Division standings.