The Blue Jackets dropped a 4-3 decision at Winnipeg on Saturday night at Bell MTS Place to see their four-game point streak end.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus scored three power-play goals in the first two periods and largely dominated play through 40 minutes, but it was a 3-3 game after two periods. Winnipeg then got the winning goal in the final two minutes for the second straight time the Blue Jackets visited Manitoba.
Video: CBJ Recap: Dubois, Jones and Nyquist score in loss
Quote of the Game
Head coach John Tortorella: "We were the better team. We were the better team and we found a way to lose."
- Pierre-Luc Dubois scored his team-best 10th goal and now has four goals in the last four games.
- Seth Jones earned his first power-play goal since 2018 and his second tally of the season.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand had two assists to give him a goal and five helpers in the past three games.
It took the Blue Jackets just 4:59 to get on the board with Dubios tallying on the power play. Bjorkstrand's shot from the left side was stopped by Laurent Brossoit but it kicked over to Dubois low on the right and he banked it into the net off the Winnipeg goalie.
The Jets answered at 8:23 as Blake Wheeler scored past Elvis Merzlikins. Columbus native Jack Roslovic entered the zone with speed along the right side and dropped a pass to Wheeler for a quick one-timer past Merzlikins.
Winnipeg took a 2-1 lead 5:19 into the second as Nikolaj Ehlers scored just after coming out of the penalty box. The Blue Jackets got outnumbered down low and Wheelers passed it across the slot to Ehlers to redirect home past the outstretched leg of Merzlikins.
But Columbus earned a two-man advantage shortly thereafter and took advantage with a 5-on-3 goal. Jones stepped into a pass from Zach Werenski and blew it through Brossoit to make it a 2-2 game at 6:30.
Video: CBJ@WPG: Jones buries one-timer on two-man advantage
The Blue Jackets then made it 3-2 with a power-play goal 47 seconds later. Gustav Nyquist found a rebound in front and slid it under Brossoit to give Columbus the lead with his fourth goal of the year.
Columbus could have doubled the advantage but Brossoit stood tall on a breakaway chance, using his blocker to deny Josh Anderson after the big CBJ forward caused a turnover at the Jets' blue line.
Winnipeg was able to tie the score at 14:43 of the second with a goal by Mathieu Perreault. He took a quick shot off a pass from Adam Lowry and Merzlikins appeared to lose track of the puck until it was too late as it flew in far side past his glove.
The Jets had to make a goalie change with 11:19 to go as Brossoit left with an apparent injury, with No. 1 goalie Connor Hellebuyck entering the game. Brosssoit was joined in the locker room by two Jets defensemen as well in Josh Morrissey and Nathan Beaulieu, who were also injured during the game.
Roslovic nearly gave the Jets the lead a couple of times in the third, hitting the post on a sharp-angle shot on the power play early in the frame and then having a redirection in front denied by Merzlikins with 7:30 to go. The Blue Jackets also hit the post with a deflected puck off the stick of Cam Atkinson with about five minutes to play.
Then with 1:54 to go, the Jets broke the deadlock with a goal by Andrew Copp. His bouncing shot deflected off David Savard and crossed up Merzlikins before sliding under the CBJ goalie.
Bjorkstrand had a great chance but hit the side of the net from in close in the final seconds and Winnipeg finished off the win.
1. How about that Blue Jackets' power play? The team has now scored a power-play goal in four straight games and six of seven overall. With three tallies tonight, Columbus scored three power-play goals for the first time since April 3, 2018, vs. Detroit and improved to 7 for 15 on the man advantage in the last four games. The team has alluded to a few tweaks they've made since the arrival of Paul MacLean, but the biggest thing simply appears to be confidence. "We're getting on the ice thinking we're going to score," Dubois said.
2. If there was any major disappointment for the way the Blue Jackets played -- the team had around 25 scoring chances to the Jets' 11 or 12, Tortorella said -- it was that they were unable to take advantage in the third periord when the Jets were down to four defensemen. Columbus took two penalties in the period, which sapped momentum, and had just one shot in the first 12 minutes of the frame before finishing with six shots overall in the third. "You have to get that goal," Dubois said. "You have to find a way to push the pace and break them when they're playing four defensemen."
3. After four straight strong outings, this is one Merzlikins will not look back on fondly. He seemed to be fighting the puck most of the night and then committed a crucial error, turning the puck over to Copp on a clearing attempt right before Winnipeg's winning goal. The Latvian goalie is now 0-2-3 in his five starts, and while he's had some excellent minutes, it's tough to see him nearing the Thanksgiving holiday without a victory.
Merzlikins finished with 27 saves while Brossoit had 27 and Hellebuyck five. … The Blue Jackets scored first for the seventh straight game but have trailed in all seven of those games. … Columbus fell to 9-2-1 when scoring first. … Werenski extended his point streak to a career-high-tying six games (3-5-8). … Dubois ran his point streak to four games (4-2-6). … The Blue Jackets had earned a point in every game this year when tied after two periods (5-0-3) until tonight. ... Winnipeg improved to 11-1-1 in one-goal games while the Blue Jackets played in their NHL-most 15th one-goal contest.
The Blue Jackets used the same 18 skaters as Thursday night's win over Detroit, scratching forward Riley Nash and defenseman Scott Harrington.
The Blue Jackets return to Columbus for a busy week starting Monday night with a game vs. Ottawa in Nationwide Arena.