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RECAP: Blue Jackets fall to Penguins 7-3

Bjorkstrand nets a hat trick in loss

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Once the regular season starts, it will be erased.

Until then, Oliver Bjorkstrand can enjoy what he did Saturday for the rest of training camp - notching a hat trick in the Blue Jackets' 7-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

Bjorkstrand scored at 17:06 of the second period to put Columbus on the board, then scored two more in the third - one on a power-play at 4:57 and then an even-strength goal at 10:15 to make it 5-3 Pittsburgh.

"I thought I was slow in the beginning," Bjorkstrand said. "I feel like I could've made a few better plays and decisions with the puck but throughout the game it got better and better, and I found the net. It's definitely nice to get a few goals in the preseason."

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TRAINING CAMP: Duclair intent on tapping 'unlimited' potential

Young forward on his fourth NHL team, motivated to prove rookie success was no fluke.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The speed and skill are undeniable.

In fact, when Anthony Duclair deploys them both it can be jaw-dropping. The only thing is, he hasn't combined them enough during the first four years of his NHL career - after being traded by the New York Rangers in 2015 and making a splash with 20 goals and 44 points for the Arizona Coyotes as a rookie in 2015-16.

Since then, Duclair has struggled to regain his top form. He had 15 points on five goals and 10 assists the next season (2016-17), spending time in the American Hockey League, and then requested a trade from the Coyotes last season. Sent to the Chicago Blackhawks mid-season, Duclair missed the final six weeks of the season with a high-ankle sprain and wasn't tendered a qualifying contract offer to stay in Chicago this summer.

The Blue Jackets signed Duclair to a one-year contract July 6, a deal worth a reported $650,000, and he came to training camp looking to prove himself all over again - still only 23-years old.

"I want to go back to my playing ways from my rookie season," he said, three days into the physically-demanding training camp of Columbus coach John Tortorella. "That was the main focus [of signing here] too. Coming here, playing with these guys, everyone's got to push each other to be better - and I think that's what I need."

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RECAP: Blue Jackets fall to Blues 3-0

Blue Jackets can't get offense going, fall in shutout to Blues

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Sergei Bobrovsky went to St. Louis hoping to get a good preseason start on his timing and rhythym.

As it turned out, the Blue Jackets' star goalie had to find those traits quickly. Making his first start of the preseason, Bobrovsky allowed two goals on 16 shots in the Jackets' 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, but he played well in the 31 minutes, 36 seconds he stayed in net.

Each goal he allowed was a power-play goal for the Blues, who had more established NHL players in the game - including stars Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko.

"It's more of the rhythm, the whole rhythm of the game, to feel the speed [of] when they pass [and] to read the game and to get your timing," Bobrovsky said. "It's that kind of stuff. It's the overall [feeling], so I felt really good. The body, physically and mentally, it's just like I said … I like where I am at this stage, so we'll see how it's going to go."

St. Louis scored both goals against Bobrovsky on power plays in the first period, each happening less than a minute after the door to the penalty box closed.

Sammy Blais scored the first one to put the Blues up 1-0 at 4:47 - 37 seconds after Doyle Somerby was called for slashing - and Patrick Maroon made it 2-0 at 13:38 of the first, five seconds of game action after forward Anthony Duclair was called for tripping.

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TRAINING CAMP NOTES: Werenski cleared for 'controlled contact'

Defenseman tests shoulder in light battle drills; Panarin practices but won't play; Bobrovsky making trip to St. Louis.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

The shoulder harness was already history and now the red practice jersey is too.

After shedding the harness that he wore most of last season, after surgery May 3 to repair the labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Zach Werenski has now jettisoned his "no contact" jersey in practice.

Werenski's doctor visit went well Thursday, he gained clearance for "controlled contact" - meaning a gray jersey instead of red - and he even began taking light contact during 1-on-1 battle drills.

"I didn't scrimmage with the guys, but I did some stuff on the other sheet," said Werenski, who battled for pucks against forward Nathan Gerbe and then joined his group for a post-scrimmage practice on the main rink. "I'm going to start doing it after practice. I'll grab a guy or a coach and just work on [taking contact] and then hopefully Monday get back with the team and start doing more contact. My goal is still to play on Friday [Sept. 28] against Pittsburgh in the preseason."

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TRAINING CAMP UPDATE: Werenski hoping to be cleared for contact soon

Defenseman to meet with doctor Thursday; says recovery from shoulder surgery is going well.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

It's no longer hanging in his locker stall as a constant reminder of the frustration Zach Werenski endured last season.

The constricting shoulder harness Werenski wore for all but 12 games in 2017-18, black with an adjustable strap, is now kept in a different part of the Blue Jackets' locker room. It's out of sight now, but still in the back of Werenski's mind.

"It sat in my stall this whole offseason and every time I'd come to the rink I saw it," said Werenski, who's nearly five months out from surgery May 3 to repair the labrum and rotator cuff in his left shoulder. "It kind of gave me motivation to not put it back on again. I haven't seen it since training camp started. I don't know where it is. I'm sure they probably threw it out or something and I hope I never see it again."

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RECAP: Blue Jackets 4, Blackhawks 1

Wennberg feeling good about two-point game; Foudy tallies first NHL preseason goal in win over Chicago.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Yes, the Blue Jackets had more NHL players than the Chicago Blackhawkswho left their superstars at home.

Yes, the Jackets' 4-1 victory Tuesday at Nationwide Arena was just a preseason game. Yes, enthusiasm based off the result should be tempered based on those two factors. That's all true.

However, their play overall - and particularly that of center Alexander Wennberg - should at least be jotted down and noted for future reference. It was an impressive two-point night for a guy looking to bounce back from a disappointing year.

"Even though it's the preseason, it's a great way to prepare for the season," said Wennberg, who scored the eventual game-winning goal on a power play late in the first period. "It doesn't matter who you play against. I mean, it's always hockey played out there and there's good players on the other team. So, for us to go out there - and for me, as well - to get back this year and start talking about being better … it's a good thing for me."

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PRESEASON GAME 2: Foudy ready for another memorable experience in debut

Jackets' first-round pick will center second line, play with NHL wingers; Werenski hoping for preseason return.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Liam Foudy has done a lot of cool stuff since the Blue Jackets selected him 18th overall at the 2018 NHL Draft this summer in Dallas.

Since then, he's taken part in his first NHL development camp, played for Canada at the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase in Kamloops, B.C., helped the Jackets win the 2018 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament and then got his first taste of NHL training camp in Columbus.

Next up is playing his first preseason game for the Blue Jackets, who will start him out at second-line center against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena (7 p.m., Fox Sports Go, BlueJackets.com, 1460 ESPN Radio).

"I think I've had a long, good summer with a lot of playing, and I think going to [Traverse City] helped me get ready for this - playing some game action, [with] speed, and I think I'll be ready for today," Foudy said. "I'm definitely going to try and use my speed as much as I can. That's my No. 1 asset, so I'm going to go out there and try to skate as much as possible and use my speed."

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RECAP: Blue Jackets 1, Sabres 4

Blue Jackets fall to Sabres in first preseason game of 2018-19 campaign

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

After four days of intense conditioning to start training camp, the Blue Jackets didn't expect to be refreshed Monday night at Nationwide Arena.

In fact, in the third camp directed by coach John Tortorella, they now expect to feel the exact opposite of refreshed in their first couple preseason games.

"It takes a while," said center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who finished with an assist on the lone Columbus goal in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres to start the preseason. "These games are kind of frustrating because you have no energy and you know it, but at the same time you don't like losing and you don't like not playing well. So, it's just getting through this first four or five days of camp."

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PRESEASON GAME 1: Jackets looking to overcome Sabres, camp fatigue

Vigneault, Abramov among Columbus prospects looking to shine; Sabres leave Dahlin in Buffalo.

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

They've run, or biked, as fast as possible for two miles or 12 minutes.

They've scrimmaged for two days straight, finishing with a series of lung-burning, leg-weakening conditioning laps that probably felt endless. Now, it's time for the Blue Jackets to play some actual hockey against somebody other than themselves.

Columbus starts its preseason this week with a set of back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday at Nationwide Arena, first against the Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m., Fox Sports Go, BlueJackets.com, 1460 ESPN Radio) and then hosting the Chicago Blackhawks the following night.

"I'm a little concerned about these two games for us, because they have skated and skated, and it's been really hard for them," said coach John Tortorella, whose demanding training camps are now well-known across the NHL. "You've got to be really careful, as far as how you evaluate [these guys], because I think we're going to have some tired players out there tonight - but I'm looking at the guys I just don't know a lot about, that I have not seen. I've heard about [them], but I have not seen [them] play, so I just act according that way."

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TRAINING CAMP NOTES: Korpisalo prepared for more NHL starts

Jackets' backup eager to earn coaching staff's trust, knows 'anything can happen'

by Brian Hedger @JacketsInsider / BlueJackets.com

Two things will be different for Joonas Korpisalo this season.

First, since he needs to clear waivers to be sent to the American Hockey League, those periodic trips up I-71 to start for the Cleveland Monsters are history. He'll have to find other ways to stay sharp as Sergei Bobrovsky's backup, which could mean more action with the Blue Jackets.

"I don't have a crystal ball," coach John Tortorella said on media day last week, when asked whether Korpisalo might play more this season. "I don't know what's going to happen. I am approaching this year about trying to win hockey games as best we can. That sits well for [Korpisalo], too, because 'Korpi' has progressed as he's gone about it. You've got to remember with 'Korpi,' when we've played him a number of games in a row, he's played really well."

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