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FINAL: Blue Jackets 4, Bruins 1

Jenner, Werenski, Nyquist all score in the first to push Columbus to exhibition win

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The Blue Jackets earned a 4-1 victory in an exhibition game vs. Boston on Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. 

Game in a Paragraph 

Columbus got off to a flying start, utilizing its forecheck and some opportunistic scoring to take a 3-0 lead in the first period. Boston got one back in the middle period, but the Blue Jackets were able to finish things off in the third to earn the win.  

Video: Bruins, 1 - Blue Jackets, 4

CBJ Standouts 

  • Boone Jenner, Zach Werenski and Gus Nyquist each tallied in the first period, while Alexandre Texier added a late empty-net goal. Nyquist added an assist on Texier's goal for a two-point night.
  • Rookie Liam Foudy had an assist after playing in just two regular season games.  
  • Joonas Korpisalo stopped all 11 shots he faced while starting and playing half the game in net, while Elvis Merzlikins also made 12 stops while giving up one goal.

Quote of the Game

Korpisalo: "That was awesome. That was fun. We've been practicing for a while here now. It's great to see game action, put in the work in there. It felt pretty good. That was fun."

Quick Recap 

Columbus came out strong and left the first period with a 3-0 lead as its forecheck wore down the Bruins before two special teams goals late in the period. 

First, the Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead just 4:27 into the game as Jenner got on the board. Columbus controlled a shift in its offensive zone before recapturing the puck in the neutral zone, and Foudy brought the puck in along the right-wing boards before centering a backhand pass that went off the skates of Jenner and into the net from the doorstep. 

Columbus could have made it 2-0 near the midway point but Charlie McAvoy blocked Alexander Wennberg's rebound try from the blue of the paint, then Korpisalo made his best stop of the period as Jake Studnicka got behind the CBJ defense but the Finnish goalie made the stop with his pad on the backhand try. 

The Blue Jackets then scored twice in an 18-second span. First came a 4-on-4 goal two seconds after a Boston penalty expired, as Cam Atkinson teed up Werenski for a one-timer from the top of the zone that beat Tuukka Rask to the glove with 1:42 to play in the period. The Blue Jackets then went on the power play and took advantage, as a nice tic-tac-toe passing play from Oliver Bjorkstrand to Pierre-Luc Dubois to Nyquist allowed the Swede's one-timer to beat Rask with 1:24 to go in the period.  

Columbus could have extended its lead in the second period as Bjorkstrand, Dubois and Jenner all hit the post or crossbar, but there was no luck for those Blue Jackets.  

The teams then swapped goalies with 10:06 to play in the period -- Merzlikins came in for Korpisalo, while Jaroslav Halak relieved Rask -- and Merzlikins was greeted rudely when the first shot on goal against went in the net as the NHL's co-leading goal scorer, David Pastrnak, found a bouncing puck in front and slipped it through the goalie's legs.  

Merzlikins did respond with a big stop on Jake DeBrusk late in the period and added another denial midway through the third period on a point-blank chance from Anders Bjork. Merzlikins also added a late snowman effort to stop a deflected shot with just over a minute to go, and Texier's empty-net goal with 1.5 seconds to go clinched the victory.

Notable 

This was the lone exhibition game for both teams before the NHL restart and the first CBJ game of any kind since a win March 8 at Vancouver. … Columbus was 1-5 on the power play while Boston finished 0-2, while the Blue Jackets held a 31-24 edge in shots on goal. ... Bjorkstrand had two assists in the game. … Werenski led all NHL defensemen during the regular season with a career-high 20 goals. … Foudy, a 20-year-old rookie, had an assist in two NHL games during the regular season. … Pastrnak had 48 goals during the regular season, tying Washington's Alexander Ovechkin for the most in the NHL. … Boston forward Brad Marchand, who was sixth in the NHL in points this year, left the game with an injury midway through the third period.  

Roster Report 

Columbus was able to use a 20-man roster for the game, playing 13 forward and seven defensemen. Scratches were forwards Josh Anderson (injury), Stefan Matteau, Devin Shore and Kevin Stenlund; defensemen Gabriel Carlsson, Adam Clendening, Scott Harrington and Andrew Peeke; and goalie Matiss Kivlenieks. 

Up Next 

The Blue Jackets begin the NHL restart Sunday with Game 1 of a best-of-five series vs. Toronto. 

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