Mark Letestu’s power play goal with less than two seconds remaining in the second period looked to have tilted the ice in the Blue Jackets favor, but the St. Louis Blues came out with guns blazing in the third period.
In a wild, back-and-forth game that featured four lead changes and a pair of spirited fights, the Blues scored four times in the third period and won their fifth straight home game by a 6-4 final. St. Louis has won the first two meetings in the season series after their 2-1 win at Nationwide Arena a few weeks ago. Jamie Langenbrunner tallied a pair of assists, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo scored the eventual game-winner off the rush at 12:08 of the third period.
And there was even more that transpired prior to that series of events.
Columbus got on the board first in the opening period, as Derek MacKenzie slammed home a rebound from Fedor Tyutin’s point blast at 12:06. The Blue Jackets held a one goal lead for only 28 seconds, as Matt D’Agostini set up Kevin Shattenkirk for a tap-in after the Jackets missed a defensive assignment at the blue line. T.J. Oshie tallied his 11th goal at 13:29 and gave the Blues a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
It took a while, but Derek Dorsett was eventually credited with the 2-2 goal four minutes into the second period. Another Tyutin shot from the point got through to Jaroslav Halak, but not before clipping Dorsett in the pant leg and bounding into the net. Near the end of the period, however, it looked as though Letestu’s well-executed tally would turn the tide – but Alex Steen got the 3-3 goal 58 seconds into the third period.
The Blue Jackets closed to within 5-4 when Derick Brassard batted one in with 4:09 to play, but a miscue in the offensive zone (with Mason on the bench for an extra attacker) allowed the Blues to ice the game with an empty-netter.
Both teams were playing on the second night of back-to-back games, the Blue Jackets needed a better start to the third period to offset the Blues on home ice. Columbus had St. Louis out of rhythm for the first two periods, but Steen’s early third-period goal reversed the Blues’ fortunes.
The goal wasn’t without drama, as the Blue Jackets felt Oshie knocked the puck down with a high stick before it was fed to Steen, but referees deemed it a valid goal.
Columbus has power play goals in four of the last five games (4-of-20, 20.0 percent) after going 1-for-22 (4.5 percent) the previous eight games.
The Blue Jackets scored the first goal of the game for the 17th time this season. The club is now 8-6-2 in those games, while going 1-10-1 when trailing after the first period and 7-4-1 when leading after two periods.
MacKenzie snapped a 14-game goalless skid with his fourth of the season. He last scored Nov. 17 at Boston. He has collected 1-3-4 the last nine games after being held to 1-0-1 the previous 13 games. He was +1 on the night, making him plus or even in 29 of 32 games this season.
Tyutin registered his first multi-point game in 17 games with three assists tonight. His last multi-point outing was Nov. 10 vs. Chicago. The three assist game matches a career high in assists and points.
Brassard has assists in two of the last five games with a pair of assists tonight. He had been held without an assist the previous five games.
Letestu scored his first goal in six games with his fifth of the season tonight. He last scored Dec. 2 at Edmonton. The goal was scored on the power play, his team leading fourth of the season. He has matched his career high for power play goals, as he had four in 64 games with Pittsburgh last season.
vs. Nashville Predators
Bridgestone Arena | Nashville, Tenn.
Thursday, 8 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan & BlueJackets.com