It started on the wrong foot for the Blue Jackets tonight, and it didn’t get much better after that.
BLUE JACKETS 0 | JETS 4
The first two Winnipeg Jets shots resulted in goals, and before the game was 10 minutes old, Columbus was down 2-0 at MTS Centre to a team that had won four straight coming into tonight and had taken down some of the top teams in the NHL, including a pair of recent wins over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Despite settling into the game and out-shooting the Jets 14-6 in the opening period, the Blue Jackets were unable to capitalize and then found their deficit doubled after two periods. Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane scored in the first period for the Jets, and second period tallies from Jay Harrison and Chris Thorburn gave the home team a commanding four-goal advantage with 20 minutes to play.
But that didn't end up being the Blue Jackets’ biggest concern in the game.
Sergei Bobrovsky suffered an injury in the second period and did not return. As he tracked a puck going wide of the net, Bobrovsky was in considerable discomfort and needed assistance getting off the ice. Curtis McElhinney stepped in and did a solid job, allowing only a goal to Chris Thorburn on an odd-man rush late in the second period.
"It's tough," Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert said of Bobrovsky's injury. "He's a leader in our room, and he's a big part of our team. We're hoping it's not too bad."
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards did not have much of an update on Bobrovsky after the game, saying he has a lower body injury and will be further evaluated tomorrow.
After building some momentum with back-to-back road wins in Boston and Minnesota, the 4-0 setback in Winnipeg represents a significant setback for the Blue Jackets. They head into the All-Star break with a sour taste in their mouths, and don’t get a chance to bounce back until next Tuesday night when they host the Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets have talked about getting better starts to games, and despite playing a solid first period, they were down early and could never recover. They put 14 shots on Hutchinson (who played well) but failed to take advantage of several quality opportunities, including power play chances that featured good puck movement and traffic in front of the net but to no avail. Tonight, it was a case of their start being good but not good enough against a Winnipeg team playing with plenty of confidence.
vs. Washington Capitals
Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET