In a dress rehearsal preseason game that saw the two teams skate many of their top players, Columbus lost 2-0 to New Jersey on Friday night in Nationwide Arena.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus carried play for most of the first two periods but trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes thanks to an early snipe by New Jersey's Taylor Hall. The Devils then added a power-play goal in the third period and took the win behind the standout goaltending of Cory Schneider, who finished with 32 saves.
- Joonas Korpisalo finished with 25 saves on 27 shots, including a number of highlight-reel plays.
- Cam Atkinson had a team-high-tying five shots on goal, many of the grade-A variety.
Columbus had the first quality scoring chance of the game as a New Jersey turnover led to a breakaway by Atkinson, but Schneider read the play and smothered the CBJ sniper's deke attempt.
The Blue Jackets controlled the early going, but it took just one chance for New Jersey to take the lead. 2018 Hart Trophy winner Hall was given some space along the top of the right circle, loaded up and fired over the glove of Korpisalo to make it 1-0 at 8:32 of the first.
New Jersey then earned a power play, and Korpisalo made his first standout save of the night. A puck deflected onto the stick of Nico Hischier in front, and it looked like the 2017 draft's No. 1 overall pick had an easy stuff into the open net, but Korpisalo reached behind him and got the paddle on it to keep the puck out of the net before Seth Jones cleared the ensuing rebound.
From there, Columbus retook the momentum as New Jersey took three consecutive penalties, giving the Blue Jackets a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities of 45 and 49 seconds. But Schneider came up tall each time, denying Atkinson on a pair of chances from in close and then making a similar stop on Alexander Wennberg.
It was Korpisalo's turn to make the big stops in the second. Midway through the frame he made another highlight-reel save, turning aside 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes on a 2-on-0, then later, the goalie was able to gain some measure of revenge on Hall when he used his left pad to turn aside Hall's breakaway.
Columbus also thought momentarily in the second it had gotten on the boards as Alexandre Texier buried a rebound past Schneider, but the goal was waved off for incidental contact after Pierre-Luc Dubois collided with the New Jersey goalie before the shot.
In the third period, New Jersey doubled its lead on the power play with 11:40 to go, as a nice passing play ended with Kyle Palmieri taking the puck to the side of the net and feeding Travis Zajac in the slot for the quick shot past Korpisalo.
Columbus nearly got it back on the next shift as Gustav Nyquist was alone in front on a bang-bang shot, but Schneider again was not to be beaten as the New Jersey goalie finished with the shutout.
Korpisalo made his third start of the preseason and has given up a total of three goals in just under 150 minutes of action. … Devils summer acquisitions Hughes and PK Subban (trade) skated in the game along with Hall, Hischier, Will Butcher and the rest of the Devils' regulars. … Dubois, who spent part of his morning working with faceoff specialist and former NHLer Mike Eagles, won 9 of 11 draws. … Columbus was 0-4 on the power play while New Jersey was 1-3.
They Said It
Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno: "Their goalie played pretty well. Schneider played probably the best I've seen him play in a long time. Give him credit. He made a lot of good saves. We hit crossbars and posts. It's kind of what I expected out of preseason."
The Blue Jackets used the following lines for the game.
Alexandre Texier - Pierre-Luc Dubois - Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno - Boone Jenner - Josh Anderson
Gustav Nyquist - Alexander Wennberg - Oliver Bjorkstrand
Jakob Lilja - Riley Nash - Sonny Milano
Zach Werenski - Seth Jones
Vladislav Gavrikov - David Savard
Dean Kukan - Markus Nutivaara
Columbus will play its final preseason game Sunday evening at Nationwide Arena against St. Louis.