The Blue Jackets extended their point streak to 10 with a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago in front of a sellout crowd Sunday night in Nationwide Arena.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus started strongly, scoring twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. The Blue Jackets held it through the second before Chicago drew one back early in the third and tied the game late on the power play. After a wild overtime that included a game-winning goal waved off for the Blue Jackets, Chicago won the game in the shootout while Joonas Korpisalo left because of injury.
Video: CBJ Recap: Blue Jackets extend point streak to 10
Quote of the Game
Head coach John Tortorella after an extra second ran off the clock when Chicago was called for a penalty in overtime, negating a potential winning goal by the Blue Jackets that came moments after time expired: "Instead of resetting the clock, we have them tell our captain, 'We're not going to do it.' Toronto doesn't step in. The refs don't do their freaking job, and now we lose the game and we lose our goalie. So the chain of events, if it was done right, we don't lose our goalie and we win the hockey game. So all this technology and getting things right, the stubbornness tonight by the officials and by the league and Toronto, however it is supposed to work, screws us. It's ridiculous."
- Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his team-high 13th goal of the season and has a 3-6-9 line in the last eight games.
- Riley Nash netted his third goal of the season and has a two-game point streak.
- Korpisalo again turned in a strong performance, making 27 saves in his seventh straight start, but was injured during the shootout. He allowed two goals or less for the fifth straight start.
Columbus got off to a good start, taking a 2-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes. Nash got the party started 6:54 into the game as the Blue Jackets' fourth line again made an impact, with Nash crossing the blue line and throwing a wobbling puck on net that went by the glove of Chicago goalie Robin Lehner.
The Blue Jackets made it 2-0 with a big goal with just 1:20 left in the frame. A strong shift by Dubois, Nick Foligno and Nathan Gerbe in the zone led to a finish, as Foligno tracked down the puck along the goal line and threw a spinning backhand pass to Dubois at the right post for an easy slam home.
The Blackhawks had some chances in the second but Korpisalo slammed the door - sometimes with help from his friends. About six minutes into the period, Dylan Strome drew Korpisalo out of his net, but Vladislav Gavrikov dove into the crease and helped keep a shot by Kirby Dach from crossing the line.
Korpisalo also made some excellent stops as the period went on, including a left-to-right nabbing of Adam Boqvist's shot from the slot and a denial of a deflection by Matthew Highmore.
Chicago got on the board with 12:27 to go as Dublin's Connor Murphy had a hand in the goal. Murphy's shot from the right point was deflected by Strome over the shoulder of Korpisalo to make it a 2-1 game.
The Hawks had a pair of power plays in the final seven minutes and took advantage with 2:02 to play as Erik Gustafsson tied the game at 2 on the power play. His long floater from the right point got past Korpisalo far side to knot the game.
Seth Jones had a breakaway chance in overtime but fired high, then hustled back to break up a Blackhawks chance. Chicago earned an overtime power play but Korpisalo and the Blue Jackets survived thanks to some timely stops by the goaltender, who made seven saves in OT alone. Then it looked as though Zach Werenski had won it at the death with a power-play goal, but time had just expired when his shot past a sprawled Lehner went into the net.
Chicago got goals from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the shootout, with the first coming against Korpisalo, who skated gingerly to the bench and left the game after Toews' goal. Elvis Merzlikins had to enter and gave up the goal to Kane, while Columbus got a shootout tally from Gus Nyquist but misses from Pierre-Luc Dubois and Nathan Gerbe, who hit the post to end the game.
1. What a brutal way to lose a game. Tortorella's had a point with his comments on the clock, as at least an extra second appeared to run off the clock when Chicago was called for too many men in the final 20 seconds of the game. That extra time would have allowed Werenski's goal to stand at the end of overtime, but who knows if things would have unfolded in exactly the same way. Columbus leaves with its point streak now at double digits, which is a very good thing, but this one will be hard to swallow just because of the way the team lost and the way Korpisalo had to be helped from the ice in the shootout.
2. At the same time, the Blue Jackets will feel as though they gave away that extra point by not being able to shepherd the game through the third period. The team sat back a little too much in the third, then took a pair of penalties down the stretch that led to Chicago's game-tying goal. "It shouldn't have even gone there," Jones said. "It shouldn't have gone to a shootout. We should have ended that game in regulation. ... We were just on our heels a little bit in the third period. We didn't attack. We stopped forechecking. We decided to sit back and try to protect the lead instead of going at them when the time was necessary."
3. The Korpisalo injury will lord over this game, and while no update was given in postgame, it certainly didn't look good as he had to be helped to the bench by an official then helped from the bench by the training staff after Toews' shootout goal. Korpisalo was fantastic again in net and has been the team's best player for much of the season; now, the Jackets have to await word on the severity of his injury. "It's brutal," Nash said. "He's been the guy all year."
Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play while Chicago was 1-for-5. ... Columbus' 10-game point streak is tied for the fourth longest in franchise history. ... The Blue Jackets are 17-2-3 in their last 22 games with a start time of 5 p.m. ET or earlier. ... The Blue Jackets played their second straight overtime game and NHL-best 13th of the year. Columbus also fell to 0-2 in shootouts and 5-8 in extra time overall. ... Gavrikov has three points in the last four games (2-1-3) and is plus-12 in the last 12 games. … The Blue Jackets led after the first period for just the ninth game this season (5-2-2) and after the second for the ninth time as well (5-1-3). … It was the third sellout of the season at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets used the same lineup as Friday's overtime loss at Washington. The injured Sonny Milano and defenseman Scott Harrington were the team's scratches.
The Blue Jackets host Florida on New Year's Eve, with a 7 p.m. faceoff on Tuesday.