The Blue Jackets saw their winless streak extend to four with a 3-0 loss to Calgary on Saturday night in Nationwide Arena.
Game in a Paragraph
In perhaps the most contentious game of the season for the Blue Jackets, Columbus gave up goals in the first and second period to fall into a 2-0 hole. The Blue Jackets pushed in the third but could not score, taking the loss despite a 43-29 edge in shots on goal.
Video: Tortorella comments on the energy level.
Quote of the Game
Captain Nick Foligno: "For whatever reason, we have a difficult time in our own rink setting the tone of how we want to play. I think that's the difference in the game. They get a 1-0 lead and you're playing from behind. It's too hard."
- Kole Sherwood made his season debut and had three shots on goal, two takeaways and four hits.
- Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves as he returned to the CBJ net.
The Flames needed just 3:44 to get on the board first, with Sean Monahan scoring the goal. Korpisalo played the puck up along the glass but couldn't get it out of the zone, with Elias Lindholm feeding Monahan with time in the slot to shoot it off the top of Korpisalo's left pad and in.
In the second period, things got a little rough after a play by Sherwood, the New Albany native playing in his third NHL game. Sherwood caused a turnover and came in on a 3-on-1, with Calgary goalie David Rittich making the same. Sherwood tried to poke for a rebound underneath the goalie for a rebound but was greeted by Milan Lucic, starting a scrum that ended with Lucic receiving a double minor for roughing and Sherwood leaving to be evaluated for a concussion, though he would return.
But Columbus couldn't score on the power play, and Calgary claimed a 2-0 lead at 8:20. Derek Ryan got a step behind the defense but never got a shot off as the Jackets converged, but he did feed it over to Sam Bennett for an easy finish past the down-and-out Korpisalo.
The Blue Jackets had a great chance to respond with 3:18 to go in the period as Pierre-Luc Dubois did a great job of puck protection before sending the puck toward the net. Rittich ended up on his back as the teams fought for the rebound, which eventually squirted free to Oliver Bjorkstrand at the post, but Rittich threw out his right arm against the post to prevent the goal.
Dean Kukan then hit the post as the second period horn sounded, and the frustration continued into the third. Near the midway point, Columbus had two great chances to score, as a blocked shot went to Vladislav Gavrikov and Gustav Nyquist took a nice one-timer feed in the right circle. But Rittich came up big both times, including a full-splits pad stop on the latter try.
Korpisalo was pulled for an extra skater with three minutes to go, but Matthew Tkachuk scored into the empty net with 2:39 left to set the final margin.
1. Both Foligno and head coach John Tortorella described the team's start as unacceptable, as it took about 10 minutes for the Blue Jackets seemingly to get into the game. It was in stark contrast to a night before when Columbus took the fight to St. Louis early, and Tortorella said the two efforts were on opposite ends of the spectrum. "Our start was terrible," Tortorella said. "No question, our start was terrible." As Foligno noted, the team can't fall into those types of holes, as noted by this stat -- Columbus is 5-0-0 when scoring first this year, 0-6-3 when not.
2. If there was one bright spot in the game, it was the play of Sherwood, who was called up from AHL Cleveland before the game and turned in a performance that was certainly noticeable. He was throwing the body around early -- his four hits on the night all came on his first three shifts in the first period -- and was a central character in the scrum involving Lucic as he tried to battle for a loose rebound under Rittich. "I was bringing energy early, so I was expecting something," he said of the physical interplay between himself and the Flames.
3. The Blue Jackets have reached one of those danger points in the season where things can spiral out of control quickly if the results don't turn. It's also one of those situations where things seem to be conspiring against the Blue Jackets, as good offensive chances are finding ways to stay out of the net while breakdowns are going into their own cage. Despite the shot count, as well, Columbus didn't generate enough offensively as the execution of scoring chances went begging. "That's the way the game is, man," Tortorella said. "We just gotta get ourselves out of it. We have to get back to the way we were playing. We will. That's just how the league is. Sometimes, there's no explanation. You lose your game, and I think there's a number of guys that are really squeezing their sticks. We just have to work ourselves through it."
The 43 shots on goal were the second most of the season for the Blue Jackets and also the third most in a shutout against in franchise history. ... Columbus was shut out for the first time this season. It was also the first shutout in a game involving the Blue Jackets this year. … The CBJ power play went 0-for-3 while Calgary was 0-for-2.
The Blue Jackets made one change to the 18-skater lineup, adding Sherwood -- who was recalled earlier in the day -- in place of Jakob Lilja, who was sent down to Cleveland.
Columbus hosts Vegas on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena before embarking on a three-game, seven-day road trip.