The Blue Jackets dropped a 3-2 final in overtime against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night in the United Center.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus never trailed in regulation, taking leads of 1-0 in the first period and 2-1 after two frames. It was a much better defensive performance out of the Blue Jackets, but the Blackhawks tied the score late to force overtime, where Alex DeBrincat scored 35 seconds into the extra frame. In the loss, the Blue Jackets extended their point streak to three games.
Quote of the Game
Patrik Laine: "A couple of mistakes, which cost us. A couple of goals at the end, but mistakes happen. We just have to clean up some things and go to Carolina and pick up a couple of points."
- Laine scored his fourth goal of the season, becoming one of six CBJ players one off the team lead.
- Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist, giving him six points in the two-game series against the Blackhawks. His five goals lead the team.
- In his return from injured reserve, Zach Werenski notched a primary assist.
- Joonas Korpisalo started for the sixth consecutive game and was impressive, making a number of big stops in the first two periods and finishing with 28 saves.
Video: CBJ Recap: Blue Jackets earn a point in 3-2 OT loss
An eventful first period ended with Columbus up 1-0 with the Blue Jackets scoring first for the 12th time in 16 games. It was Laine who got the goal, taking a pass from Atkinson, coming into the zone and unleashing a sick wrister from the top of the right circle that went off the far post and in past the blocker of goalie Kevin Lankinen to make it 1-0 just 6:39 into the game.
The Blue Jackets were a bit lucky to escape the period unscathed, though, as the Blackhawks had two strong power plays in the frame. Korpisalo was very good late in the second one, with point-blank stops on Dominik Kubalik and Pius Suter. There was also a fight, as Laine dropped the gloves with Brandon Hagel after he didn't like Hagel's hit on Jack Roslovic along the wall.
Just like on Thursday night, though, Chicago had an answer early in the second period, and again it was Nicolas Beaudin. The rookie scored his second goal in as many games just 3:12 into the frame, as Patrick Kane's shot from the blue line was knocked down in front, but Beaudin found the rebound before the CBJ did and fired it past Korpisalo from the right circle to make it 1-1.
Columbus would regain the lead before the period ended, as Atkinson tallied with 5:13 left in the frame to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead. A long shift for the top line in the Blue Jackets offensive zone resulted in a goal, as Seth Jones forced a turnover and fed Werenski, whose shot from the high slot was expertly deflected past Lankinen by Atkinson in front.
Korpisalo made a big stop on Dylan Strome late in the second period to keep it that way with the CBJ goalie sticking out his pad to deny the Blackhawks forward on the doorstep. That was Chicago's last great chance until the final four minutes, but the Blackhawks made it count as Philipp Kurashev forced a turnover and Carl Soderberg took advantage, claiming the puck in the slot and quickly firing past Korpisalo's blocker to make it 2-2 with 3:45 to go.
That brought on overtime, and it was a short one. Kane set up DeBrincat for the winner, skating in the zone along the left side before passing the puck through two CBJ defenders onto the stick of DeBrincat, who had the puck pop up off his stick then batted it into the net for the winner.
1. So close, yet so far: Hockey can be a weird game at times. The Blue Jackets were up 2-1 after two periods, then controlled play in the third period. Per Natural Stat Trick, the Jackets had a 17-11 edge in shot attempts, a 12-4 lead in shots on goal, a 12-3 edge in scoring chances and a 6-0 advantage in high-danger chances, which added up to a 1.29-0.11 edge in expected goals, a measure of shot quantity and quality. It was a strong period all around. But in the end, the Blackhawks took advantage of the one chance they got, with Kurashev poking the puck away from Werenski as he tried to turn it up in the zone right onto the stick of Soderberg, who quickly fired past Korpisalo. It was about the only two seconds of negative play for the Jackets in the period, and it ended up giving Chicago the life it needed. "I thought we played probably one of our best periods in the third period," head coach John Tortorella said. "We gave them one chance, they scored a goal."
2. Overtime blues: And in the end, it cost the Blue Jackets a point, as Chicago scored on its first shift of the extra frame. It was another play the Jackets would likely want to have back, especially for Nick Foligno. First, Foligno did a good job of dispossessing Kane, but his breakout pass went under the stick of Laine. Then the captain double-teamed Kane trying to make up for the play, allowing the skilled Blackhawks winger to slip a pass to DeBrincat in front for the winner. "Nick needed to have a better coverage," Tortorella said. The Blue Jackets are now 1-4 in overtime -- 0-3 when the game ends during the run of play and 1-1 in shootouts. The lack of confidence does seem noticeable in the extra frame as the losses have added up. At the crux of the matter -- winning a faceoff to establish possession. "You win a draw, a lot of good t hings happen and you get a lot of good opportunities," Atkinson said.
3. Laine's eventual night: It took the Finnish winger less than 20 minutes to get all over the scoresheet, as he scored a beautiful goal in the opening minutes then picked up the first fighting major of his career later in the first period. We'll go in chronological order here. First, the goal, with Laine telling the Fox Sports Ohio broadcast between periods that it was a "textbook top cheese" finish. It sure was, a ridiculous wrister that left Lankinen with absolutely no chance. And Laine isn't exactly shy about touting his shooting abilities. "That's how i'm making my paychecks, to do that," he said postgame. "I'm not thinking about it, I'm just shooting it, and I know I'm good at it." Dropping the gloves was a little more out of character, but Laine said he was simply coming to the defense of a teammate with Hagel's hit on Roslovic. He got a full stick-banging ovation on the bench for the play. "That's huge for us," Atkinson said. "You could see the boys on the bench were all jacked up. It's exciting to see."
Atkinson has a 4-4-8 line in the last five games as well as a three-game point streak. … Jones extended his point streak to six games (1-6-7) to tie a career high. ... Roslovic's six-game point streak came to an end. … Columbus has outscored teams 18-8 in the first period this year. … Kane has at least a point in all four games vs. Columbus this year (2-6-8) and a 21-42-63 line in 50 career games against the Jackets. … The Blackhawks were kept without a power-play goal for just the third time this year in 16 games, with the CBJ penalty kill a perfect 2-for-2. ... The Columbus power play was 0-for-1, while the teams were tied with 31 shots on goal.
Columbus made one change to the lineup, returning Werenski to the lineup after he came off injured reserve in place of Scott Harrington. All three Columbus scratches were defensemen in Harrington, Dean Kukan and Gabriel Carlsson.
Columbus heads to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Monday night at 7 p.m.