His name is Joonas. Joonas Korpisalo made his NHL debut tonight as the struggling Blue Jackets welcomed the injury-ravaged Tampa Bay Lightning to town. Columbus was seeking just their 5th home victory of the season.
Special congratulations to Jack Johnson, whose wife gave birth to their first child today. It should be noted that Johnson was told by Cody Goloubef that his wife was in labor, the man who has his jaw wired shut at the moment.
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Your CBJ starters tonight: Matt Calvert, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Murray, and Joonas Korpisalo
Bodnarchuk had an early play looking for a redirection, but Tampa managed to break it up.
Following an aggressive forecheck and a turnover in the offensive zone, Ryan Johansen had a shot saved by Ben Bishop.
Tampa Bay power play. David Savard took a penalty at 1:21 of the first period for holding Nikita Kucherov. Korpisalo made several nice saves on the penalty kill, including one on a Steven Stamkos shot. The Blue Jackets killed the penalty, allowing two shots.
At 5:00, the Jackets were whistled for an offside call, following a stellar shift from the Blue Jackets. Saad, Johansen, and Boone Jenner all had excellent chances. Nick Foligno and Scott Hartnell also had excellent shifts.
At 7:30, and the first media timeout, the Blue Jackets had carried the majority of play, save the two minutes on the kill. The team definitely had a jump in their step at the start that had been missing for the last few games.
Save, Korpisalo! Following a Victor Hedman shot from the point, Korpisalo made a nice glove save at 8:00. He certainly looked very poised early in his first start.
Tampa seemed to find their legs in the middle of the period. Steven Stamkos in particular led a long shift in Columbus territory.
CHANCE! William Karlsson got behind the defense, but the puck rolled off his stick before he could get a shot off.
Tampa goal, but it’s waved off!! Stamkos’ shot at 13:12 was ruled a distinct kicking motion on the ice, and it was incredibly obvious on replay. No goal.
KORPISALO SAVE! Sensational pad save on a 2-on-1 breakaway to deny Alexander Killorn following a Bodnarchuk turnover
CHANCE!! Following a slick feed from Ryan Johansen, Boone Jenner was stoned by Ben Bishop on a 2-on-1.
Following a mess in the defensive zone where David Savard lost his stick and his glove, Korpisalo lost his stick, and Savard was in some discomfort with his right hand after being whacked by Stamkos, Brandon Saad had a mini breakaway denied by Bishop.
FIGHT! Scott Hartnell and Ryan Callahan. It ended after a quick #HartnellDown fall to the ice.
The period ended scoreless. Korpisalo stopped all ten shots on goal in the period, and looked very comfortable. Ben Bishop made seven saves for the Lightning.
It should also be noted how engaged and energetic Ryan Johansen looked. It was easily his best period in several weeks.
Nick Foligno also left a hard hit on Brian Boyle in the period as well, but Boyle would have the last laugh.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
5 minute majors assessed to Hartnell and Callahan to start the second period.
The first two minutes featured end to end action, though very little of it was substantive.
JACKETS POWER PLAY! Jason Garrison was whistled for holding Alexander Wennberg as he entered the zone with speed at 2:10 of the second period. It was a poor power play overall. The Blue Jackets failed to maintain offensive zone pressure, and it featured a nearly disastrous Jack Johnson mishandle in the defensive zone. Johnson managed to recover nicely to clear the danger.
End to end action here in the second period. Both teams traded chances for the first 7:30. Neither team had clear looks at the net though; most pucks were misplayed or were right to the goalie. It was nice to see Korpisalo come out and maintain a strong presence to start the second period.
Of note: at the 7:30 media timeout, Tampa Bay announced that Joel Vermin was out for the night with an upper body injury.
David Savard had a nice shot from the point at 10:25 of the period that eluded Bodnarchuk, but the Blue Jackets could not capitalize.
Tampa Bay Goal. Alexander Wennberg backhanded a pass looking for David Savard in front of Korpisalo. Jonathan Marchesseault was left completely alone in the slot, intercepted the pass, and wasted no time burying the wrister behind Korpisalo at 11:11 of the second period. It was a pass Wennberg should have never made, especially in the defensive zone. Bad turnover from the youngster.
David Clarkson used a nice move to walk around Tampa’s Matthew Carle and take a shot that was deflected at 13:55. That is a sentence that I just wrote.
The Blue Jackets also swapped the top two pairs following Tampa’s goal. David Savard was playing with Andrew Bodnarchuk, while Ryan Murray played with Jack Johnson.
The goal seemed to really energize the Lightning, who took it to the Blue Jackets for the next few minutes. Matt Calvert losing his stick did not help matters, but the ice clearly tilted in Tampa’s favor.
BLUE JACKETS GOAL! Brandon Dubinsky ties the game at 1-1 with his 5th of the season at 16:46. Matt Calvert makes a nice backhand pass to Dubinsky in front of the net, who went forehand-backhand-back of the net. The goal broke a 10 game goalless drought for Dubinsky. Matt Calvert and Nick Foligno had the assists. Matt Calvert did the majority of the work, winning a battle below the goal with Hedman and finding Dubinsky. Solid play from #11.
Joonas Korpisalo stayed down briefly following a save and a brief scrum around him, but was okay to continue.
The period ended with little action. The score was 1-1 following two periods of hockey, with Tampa outshooting Columbus 23-14.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
The period started with a heavy hit from Ryan Johansen to JT Brown.
At 3:30, Korpisalo snuffed out a rush led by Steven Stamkos.
At 4:02, Korpisalo stoned Killorn on a backhand from just in front of the net. The poise of the young goalie cannot be overstated. He looked very comfortable in the crease.
Blue Jackets on the power play! At 5:51, Ryan Callahan hooked Alexander Wennberg, who took the puck to the net, dished it to Hartnell, and saw a shot at a gaping net blocked by Matt Carle.
Tampa Bay Shorthanded Goal. Brian Boyle from Alexander Killorn. Wennberg lost a puck battle to Killorn, who beat Korpisalo on a 2-on-1 at 6:13 of the third.
Cam Atkinson had a look at a gaping net on the power play, but the puck rolled off the heel of his stick. The CBJ failed to convert on the power play.
The Blue Jackets pressed hard following the shorthanded goal. The 4th line of Clarkson, Gregory Campbell, and Karlsson put in an excellent pressure shift in front of Bishop.
CHANCE! Savard found Foligno, who went to net with a nifty move, only to be stoned by Bishop at the 12:30 mark of the period.
CHANCE! Saad found Jenner with a goalmouth pass, and his redirected effort bounced just wide of the net at 13:00.
Tampa Bay power play. The Blue Jackets were called for too many men on the ice at 14:14, to be served by Brandon Saad.
CHANCE! Matt Calvert just missed the far post while shorthanded. Calvert then followed it up with another attempt that was saved just seconds later.
Solid kill by the Blue Jackets, who had the majority of the chances while shorthanded.
No goal! With Bishop down and a mass scramble in front of the net, the puck sat on the line with a Tampa player moving it under Bishop. No penalty, no goal, not one happy fan in the building. It was as close as you can get to a goal without a goal.
Hartnell with a chance at 18:14! Just wide, and hits the side of the net.
The Blue Jackets had a few chances in the last 1:46, but could not find the tying goal.
FINAL: Tampa Bay Lightning 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
*** Ben Bishop
** Joonas Korpisalo
* Brian Boyle
Great performance by Joonas Korpisalo tonight. The kid looked poised, comfortable, and calm in the net. Here’s hoping he starts again sooner rather than later.
Good night for David Clarkson. He looked solid and like he belonged out there on the 4th line tonight.
Boo birds to end the game. I can’t honestly blame the fans, who have only seen 4 wins in 15 home games this season. Sure, it’s frustrating being a player, and it’s frustrating being a fan. A .250 winning percentage at home is not going to earn much good will.
That being said, the team played well tonight. A few bounces go a different way, and this could have easily been a 4-2 win. The team did not fold after the shorthanded goal. If anything, the response showed after that mistake was incredibly encouraging. It was a gut-check moment, and they didn’t fold. Maybe, just maybe, they’re taking steps in the right direction.
Alexander Wennberg is a talented player, but man, he had himself a night to forget tonight. 2 mistakes led to two Tampa Bay goals.
Shoutout again to Joonas Korpisalo. I’m sad the boys couldn’t win this one for him; he absolutely deserved the win tonight. In the postgame interview, he admitted to being nervous prior to the game, but all that went away once he stepped onto the ice. He noted that a lot of friends and family stayed up in Finland to watch him, despite the 2 AM start time.
Columbus travels to Dallas to take on the Dallas Stars. Faceoff is Tuesday, December 15 at 8:30 EST.