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FINAL: Blue Jackets 3, Coyotes 2

Bemstrom scores first NHL goal, Columbus snaps losing streak with victory in Arizona

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

The Blue Jackets broke a five-game winless streak with a 3-2 win at Arizona on Thursday night at Gila River Arena. 

Game in a Paragraph 

Arizona dominated the shot count in the first period and Columbus turned the tables in the second, but the score was tied 1-1 after the first and 2-2 after the second. But the Blue Jackets scored midway through the third period and held on to earn the win, even with Arizona earning a late power play. 

Quote of the Game

Oliver Bjorkstrand: "Tonight was a huge game. We needed this win on the first game of this road trip. It's nice to get the win."

Video: Bjorkstrand, Korpisalo lead Jackets past Coyotes, 3-2

CBJ Notables 

  • Gustav Nyquist scored a goal and added two assists to keep alive his streak of scoring a point in all seven CBJ road games this season.  
  • Emil Bemstrom scored his first career NHL goal, tallying on the power play late in the second to tie the score.  
  • Bjorkstrand scored the game-winning goal, added an assist and had four shots on goal.  

Quick Recap 

It took just 14 seconds for Columbus to get on the board, with the goal fittingly scored by No. 14. Nyquist tallied his third goal of the season off a faceoff win, as he tipped Seth Jones' shot from the right point behind Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper with an excellent deflection. 

Milano nearly made it 2-0 on the next shift with a chance in front, then Joonas Korpisalo swallowed up a shot from Phil Kessel to complete a hectic first minute of the game. 

After the CBJ had four shots on goal in the opening minute, the ice slowly but surely tilted as the Coyotes had a 16-9 edge in shots in the first, and Arizona also tied the score at 11:24. Ilya Lyubushkin's shot from the right point was kicked out by Korpisalo but right to Carl Soderberg, who slid it into the open cage to make it a 1-1 game.  

Columbus tilted the ice back the other way in the second period, though, with a 14-7 shot edge and not allowing the Coyotes to get a shot on goal in the first 12:04. The unfortunate part, though, was Arizona scored on that shot, as Jacob Chychrun took a feed from Michael Grabner on the rush and fired between Korpisalo's arm and pad from the left circle in transition. 

Korpisalo kept it a 2-1 game shortly thereafter with a spectacular save on a Grabner breakaway. The forward tried to roof a backhand over Korpisalo, but the CBJ goalie made the stop with his left arm at full extension.  

Video: CBJ@ARI: Korpisalo shuts down Grabner on breakaway

That proved big for the Blue Jackets when they tied the score on the power play at 17:36. Bemstrom had time and space off a feed from Cam Atkinson and fired off of Kuemper, but he tracked the rebound off the back wall and then banked the puck just across the line off the backside of the Arizona netminder.  

Korpisalo made another excellent stop to keep it a 2-2 game early in the third, as Grabner again found himself on a breakaway only to be stoned by the Blue Jackets goalie. Again, that proved to be a critical stop as Bjorkstrand tallied to give Columbus a 3-2 lead with 9:48 to go. Pierre-Luc Dubois brought the puck in the zone strongly and centered a pass that deflected to Bjorkstrand, who slammed it past Kuemper from in front after defenseman Kyle Capobianco whiffed on a clearing try.

From there, Columbus brought it home, including surviving 1:48 on the kill to end the game.

3 Takeaways

1. Maybe the Blue Jackets should have movie time before every game. With the team in a goal-scoring slump with just five goals in the previous four games, the coaching staff put on a video before practice that showed the team scoring goals. The video also showed on a loop after practice, and the message was clear: There is talent in the room to put the puck in the net. It still wasn't a deluge of goals by any stretch, but the Blue Jackets got one early, added a power-play marker and then watched Bjorkstrand win it late. "Sometimes seeing that (video) as a team and guys scoring goals, you kind of mentally get that picture in your head," he said. "Sometimes it can spark something."

2. After a bit of a bobble vs. Philadelphia and Edmonton, Korpisalo has clearly found his game. He's allowed just two goals in each of his past three starts and posted a .930 save percentage in that span. Tonight, his breakaway stops on Grabner highlighted an all-around excellent performance, and it was nice that the stops were rewarded by the Jackets scoring goals shortly after each denial. In all, he finished with 31 saves. "I think we played really good in front of the net, too," he said when asked about his showing. "First period I got a lot of shots pretty early so I got in the game pretty easily."

3. There's nothing quite like watching a player score his first NHL goal, and it was particularly nice that Bemstrom's tally was a huge one as the Blue Jackets needed a spark on the power play while down in the second period. The 20-year-old rookie from Sweden has clearly been getting more comfortable on the ice, but he hadn't had a reward on the stat sheet until tonight. Now, it'll be interesting to see if the spigot opens for someone who clearly has some skill at putting the puck in the net. "I felt like I wanted to make some more plays," he said of his reaction to the goal. "I just want to have the puck more."


Both teams had 33 shots on goal. ... Nyquist had his first multipoint game as a Blue Jacket and the first three-point game of the season for a Blue Jacket. … Dubois now has a six-game point streak in road games (5-2-7) and seven points (3-4-7) in his last eight games. … Arizona entered the game at 94.1 percent at home on the penalty kill but Columbus went 1-for-4. … Columbus kept alive its streak of getting points in every game this season in which it scored first (6-0-0) and when tied after two periods (4-0-3). … Arizona was 0-for-3 on the power play. … Columbus has now won eight of the last nine vs. Arizona.  

Roster Report 

The Blue Jackets had two changes to the lineup, both injury related. Alexandre Texier returned to the lineup after missing four games with a knee injury, taking the place of Kole Sherwood, while Scott Harrington went in for Markus Nutivaara (upper body). 

Up Next 

Columbus visits Colorado on Saturday night for a 9 p.m. ET start. 

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