There is not much to get excited about if you are in 30th place in the NHL as the Columbus Blue Jackets are. Monday night's game was different, though, with Joonas Korpisalo making his first career NHL start in net. Secondarily, there were a lot of familiar faces on the Tampa Bay roster as the Lightning took on their former coach.
This game took place at Nationwide Arena, so naturally the Jackets lost.
There was no scoring in the first period, but plenty of action up and down the ice. In what would be the theme for the game, the Jackets could not convert on their scoring opportunities.
Fireworks erupted at the end of the period when, off a faceoff, Scott Hartnell and Ryan Callahan traded punches as time expired. After 20 minutes, Korpisalo looked calm and collected in stopping all ten shots he faced.
Not much of note in the first few minutes of the second period other than a failed power play chance for the Jackets. Nearing the midway point, Alexander Wennberg controlled the puck in the defensive zone in the corner to Korpisalo's left. Wennberg turned to his backhand and gave a fluttering pass to...no one in particular in the slot (David Savard was his target perhaps).
Former Jacket Jonathan Marchessault picked up the open puck and fired one past the Korps. JAM's third goal of the season gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead at the 11:11 mark.
The Jackets switched the defensive pairings, moving Bodnarchuk up with Savard and pairing Jack Johnson with Ryan Murray. This will be interesting to watch going forward as Dalton Prout remains the healthy scratch on the blue line.
Columbus was able to tie it a few minutes later as Brandon Dubinsky received a pass heading to the net from Matt Calvert. Matty Ice was below the goal line and fed a back hand pass to Dubi. The alternate captain went forehand to backhand to beat Ben Bishop in net and the game was tied at one each.
The CBJ went to the power play for the second time early in the third period. Unfortunately, another blunder by Wennberg led to a Tampa Bay goal. Wennberg lost the puck in the offensive zone along the wall near the blue line and the Lightning pounced for a 2-on-1. Alex Killorn held the puck skating into the zone before feeding it across the slot where Brian Boyle finished off the breakaway.
The Lightning then had to hand on to their 2-1 lead as the Jackets pushed back. Columbus was millimeters from tying it late in the game, but the puck stayed right on the line behind Bishop. No dice for the Jackets.
Final - 2-1 Tampa Bay
To the Torts Angry Meter!
Tortorella is grimacing with a slight pained expression because his team cannot finish. Seriously - the Jackets have 20 goals in their last 10 games. As he said in the post game presser, "We're not going to win scoring one goal."
On the plus side, Korpisalo did not look out of place in his first NHL start. The Korps stopped 27 of the 29 shots he faced. Torts praised the youngster for his effort. Inside, this is probably what he looked like:
Young, competent goaltending behind Bobrovsky?? Torts is happy about that.
Not much time to lament this loss. The Jackets are in Dallas to take on the Stars less than 24 hours after this one.