The Blue Jackets lost a 3-2 overtime final against Calgary in Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday night.
Game in a Paragraph
For one night, Columbus solved its energy issues early in games as the Blue Jackets grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes of play. The Blue Jackets held the lead until the final 10 minutes before Calgary scored twice to tie the score, the second time with the extra attacker. TJ Brodie then won the game in overtime for the Flames.
Video: CBJ Recap: Shore, Nyquist score in OT loss to Flames
Quote of the Game
Nick Foligno: "It's disappointing, you have to be greedy this time of year. As much as you're mad you didn't get the two points, be happy you came away with at least something, but now we're going to need two points going forward here in every game. These are the ones that are going to get you in the playoffs, but when you're up 2-0 on the road especially, you have to find a way to win it."
- Devin Shore tallied his first goal as a member of the Blue Jackets since being acquired at the trade deadline last Monday.
- Gustav Nyquist scored his 14th goal of the season and tallied for the second game in a row.
- Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves and looked calm and in control all night.
After a bit of a slow start for each side without many looks, the Blue Jackets quickly scored twice to take a 2-0 lead into intermission.
It was Shore who started the scoring with his first tally in four games in Columbus. The play was set up beautifully by Andrew Peeke, whose long diagonal pass from his own zone gave Shore the chance to enter the zone along the right wing with speed, and his shot from the faceoff dot got through goalie Cam Talbot to make it 1-0 at 8:56.
Columbus doubled the advantage at 11:20 with an odd-man rush goal. A neutral zone pass by Calgary's Mikael Backlund hit Pierre-Luc Dubois and bounded back into the CBJ zone, giving the Blue Jackets a 2-on-0 once Foligno gathered the puck along the left-hand wall. He skated toward the net but left the royal road open for a cross-crease feed to Nyquist to slam past Talbot to make it 2-0.
If the first period belonged to the Blue Jackets' opportunistic offense, Korpisalo was the star of the second period. The goalie made a number of excellent stops, including denying Granlund on the doorstep after a pass from behind the net as well as Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm on back-to-back opportunities late in the period. Tobias Rieder also had an early shorthanded breakaway in the second but fired wide.
Video: CBJ@CGY: Korpisalo makes save on Lindholm
In the third, Columbus had the best chance of the first half of the period as Talbot strayed from his net and Dubois intercepted his pass, but the CBJ center's feed to Alexander Wennberg in front was broken up by Backlund at the last possible second.
Korpisalo continued to be strong, though, as the Flames threw pucks on net and looked for rebounds. But finally the Flames got on the board with 8:46 to play after Zach Werenski's pass behind his own net settled after going off the boards. Andrew Mangiapane was there to put the puck front and Lindholm quickly put it behind Korpisalo to make it a 2-1 game.
Korpisalo did make a huge save with around three minutes to play, as he stuck out the left pad to make a lunging save on Sean Monahan's high tip. But with 1:43 left on the clock, Matthew Tkachuk was in the right place at the right time with the extra attacker on, tipping a shot from the left point by Mark Giordano past Korpisalo to make it a 2-2 score.
Finally, in overtime, the two teams played an even game until the Flames won it. Gaudreau was denied in front by Korpisalo, but Monahan got the puck out to Brodie, who fired off Korpisalo's glove and in with 10.4 seconds to go.
1. Head coach John Tortorella kept circlling back to one note during his postgame -- the Blue Jackets need to create more offense. Trying to hold a two-goal lead for two periods against a team that can score as much as the Flames is a tall order, and Tortorella wanted to see Columbus create more after taking its quick 2-0 lead. "Bottom line is we did a lot of good things, but we need to develop more forechecking and offense," he said. The Blue Jackets finished with just 22 shots on goal and didn't create a ton of chances after a strong first period. "We need to sustain some offense," Tortorella said. "We have the people that can do that. We've done it before. We found ways to win games. Are we going to be winning games 5-1? No, I don't expect that, but we need to win these types of games. We need to close this game out when we're up 2-0 going into the third."
2. On the other side of the coin, it was a much more responsible defensive game for the Blue Jackets, who spent most of the game harassing the Flames and creating turnover after turnover. Tortorella said pregame that the focus for his team had to be playing above the puck as it has for most of the season, a concentration that had been lacking in recent games. "We certainly concentrated on some of the things we needed to get back to," Tortorella said. Added Ryan Murray, who played a solid game on the top pair with Werenski: "Forwards were great with their sticks. They turned over so many pucks." But the game turned when Werenski lost the puck behind his own net, leading to the Lindholm goal, and then the Flames took advantage with an extra-attacker goal late. "I don't think we were playing bad in the third period," Tortorella said. "We just turn one over for them to score the first goal. It was kind of a freebie for them."
3. Perhaps the most encouraging thing was the play of Korpisalo, who looked like the calm, confident goalie who earned All-Star status in the first half of the season before he went down with his Dec. 29 knee injury. He admitted it felt like a better performance after some ups and downs since returning from injury. "I felt myself out there," he said. "I think the guys played really good, let me see the puck. It felt better." He was left with little chance on all three Calgary goals, even making a spectacular save on Gaudreau seconds before the game winner. "We have to win that for Korpi," Foligno said. "He played outstanding."
Columbus has points in 32 of 39 games (21-7-11). … The team's 15 overtime losses lead the NHL. … Foligno has seven points in his last seven games (4-3-7). … Nyquist's tally was his first even-strength goal since Nov. 29 vs. Pittsburgh. … Columbus led going into the third period for the first time since Feb. 13 vs. Buffalo, a span of nine games. … Calgary has scored at least three goals in 13 straight games, while Columbus has allowed that many in 11 straight.
Columbus made two changes to the lineup, with Jakob Lilja slotting in for Ryan MacInnis in the forward group and defenseman Scott Harrington playing in place of Markus Nutivaara.
The Blue Jackets continue the Western Canada trip Saturday night with a game in Edmonton.