Despite opening the scoring and taking a 2-0 lead in the second period, the Blue Jackets dropped their second straight home game in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Los Angeles Kings at Nationwide Arena.
“I don’t know what this is,” coach John Tortorella said after the game. “We came off a really good game in Philly, a complete effort from everybody, and I just don’t know where our urgency was tonight against probably one of the top teams in the league.”
Los Angeles, who came to Columbus on a four-game winning streak, pushed the Jackets into overtime after Jeff Carter notched the equalizer at 18:33 of the third period.
The goal was netted against Jackets back-up goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who entered the game with 5:35 to play in the third after starting goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky left the game with an undisclosed injury.
With less than 30 seconds left in the overtime period, Alec Martinez scored and the Kings picked up the extra point to keep their winning streak alive.
“It’s disappointing whenever you have a late lead in the game like that and the other team finds a way to win,” center Ryan Johansen said. “It’s not a good feeling. Ever.”
The Blue Jackets’ 23 shots were almost doubled by the Kings, who led the way with 41 shots; Bobrovsky made 33 saves before leaving the game.
Tortorella cited Bobrovsky’s play in between the pipes as a big reason the Jackets were able to hold onto their lead as long as they did during the game.
“I’ll tell you what impact Bob had on the game— we don't have a chance, I mean we’re not even close, if it isn’t for Bob,” Tortorella said. “We’re down probably four or five goals going into that third period if we don’t have Bob.”
Tortorella said he was unsure of the extent of his No. 1 goalie’s injury, and that he expects Bobrovsky to be re-evaluated tomorrow.
This Tuesday night match-up was yet another example of the Jackets taking an early lead but finding a way to lose.
That lead started in the second period after Derek Forbort went into the penalty box at 2:20 for holding Scott Hartnell — and 12 seconds later, Hartnell opened the scoring when he buried the puck behind Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
A solid sequence from Ryan Johansen to Nick Foligno and out front to Hartnell set up Hartnell's 11th goal of the season, beating Quick long side with a one-timer.
Jackets netminder Bobrovsky denied Tyler Toffoli, not once but twice, on a shot and rebound during one of the Kings’ better chances in the second period and Columbus held on to the lead.
Matt Calvert added on at 14:17 in the second when he ripped a puck by Quick on a 2-on-1, his fourth goal of the season, to put the Jackets up 2-0.
But, just 3:21 later, Kings defenseman Christian Ehrhoff hacked a hard shot that found its way past several Jackets and behind Bobrovsky, splitting the deficit in half and putting the Kings on the board.
The limited scoring chances for Columbus came back to haunt them at the end of the game, and Tortorella said the team's lack of urgency was an issue as well.
“We had no forecheck tonight,” Tortorella said. “I don’t have a word to describe us tonight. It just knocks me back because of how well we played in Philly. I don’t know what happens to us in our home building, but that was men against boys tonight. We should be embarrassed…I am totally embarrassed by the way we played.”