The Jackets put up a stinker Thursday against the Bruins, and were looking to right the ship against the visiting St. Louis Blues, a week after losing to their former Central Division rival in overtime.
On the first shift of the game, Blues starter Jake Allen was forced to make a huge save off the stick of Brandon Saad, an early indicator that the Jackets had come to play.
At the 2:34 mark of the first, the Jackets opened the scoring after some great work by Lukas Sedlak and Scott Hartnell along the end boards. Hartnell slid the puck to Sam Gagner behind the net, and Gagner walked out front, flipping a backhand over Allen’s shoulder.
1-0 Jackets: Sam Gagner (Scott Hartnell, Lukas Sedlak)
The Blues would tie the game up a couple of minutes later with Sedlak in the box. Ryan Murray sent a dangerous pass up the middle of the ice, which was picked off by David Perron, who then turned up-ice. Perron slid the puck to Vladimir Tarasenko, who went cross-ice to a pinching Kevin Shattenkirk for the goal.
1-1: Kevin Shattenkirk (Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron)
The Jackets didn’t budge. On the ensuing faceoff, Nick Foligno picked off a pass by Alex Pietrangelo, starting a give-and-go with Saad. Foligno skated in and wired the puck off Allen, up and over into the net.
2-1 Jackets: Nick Foligno (Brandon Saad)
In the latter half of the first period, Ryan Murray carried the puck up through the neutral zone and into the Blues end. Nothing serious developed, but I was struck by the fact that we simply don’t see Murray do this enough. He’s silky smooth with the puck on his stick.
The Jackets would go up by two goals at the 15:10 mark of the first. After taking a pass from Saad, Alexander Wennberg threw a wrister on Allen from inside the blueline, beating the goaltender after the puck redirected off the skate of Pietrangelo.
3-1 Jackets: Alexander Wennberg (Brandon Saad, Nick Foligno)
Jaden Schwartz had a terrific opportunity to cut the lead to a goal while shorthanded late in the period, but Sergei Bobrovsky stood tall.
After one period, the shots were 9-9.
The Blues thought they had cut the gap 2:32 into the second period with the puck past Bob, but the goal was waived off due to an offside. This break was a much-needed wake up call, as it was all Blues to start the period.
That was, until Gagner potted his second goal of the game - another backhand - after receiving a pass from Hartnell. Gagner’s first shot was stopped, but he lifted the rebound into the net. Once again, the goal was generated after some terrific work by Hartnell and Sedlak along the boards. Gagner is the perfect compliment to his rugged linemates, using his skill to complete plays created by the effort and hard work of Hartnell and Sedlak.
4-1 Jackets: Sam Gagner (Scott Hartnell, Lukas Sedlak)
The goal chased Jake Allen, with Carter Hutton entering the game. Hutton hadn’t even broken a sweat when the Jackets would get their fifth of the game. With Murray carrying the puck into the zone, he centered a pass to a falling Boone Jenner. The puck made its way to Cam Atkinson, who’s first shot was stopped. Cam gathered the rebound and slid it over to Brandon Dubinsky for his first goal of the season.
5-1 Jackets: Brandon Dubinsky (Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner)
The Blues were given a powerplay midway through the period, but the best chance for either team was a Matt Calvert shorthanded chance. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.
After a Blues turnover in the neutral zone, Atkinson darted up the left wing, dropping a pass to Markus Nutivaara, who wired the puck past Hutton for his first NHL goal. So happy for the kid, what a terrific story he’s been: unknown 7th round pick makes the jump to North America and becomes an NHL regular as a rookie. So great.
6-1 Jackets: Markus Nutivaara (Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner)
William Karlsson continued the onslaught, wiring a shot from way out past Hutton.
7-1 Jackets: William Karlsson (David Savard, Cam Atkinson)
Jack Johnson was sent to the box with just under five minutes remaining in the period, and the Blues powerplay struck again, with Tarasenko finding Robby Fabbri.
7-2 Jackets: Robby Fabbri (Vladimir Tarasenko, Jori Lehtera
Murray took a late penalty, and the Blues would start the third period up a man. Once again, the Blues powerplay found the back of the net again, this time with Tarasenko wiring a blistering shot past Bobrovsky. Seriously, how good is this guy?
7-3 Jackets: Vladimir Tarasenko (Kevin Shattenkirk, David Perron)
Moments later some guy named Petteri Lindbohm, who’d be running around and shooting his mouth off all night, cross-checked Foligno high and was sent to the box. The previously cold CBJ powerplay got back on track with a Zach Werenski one-timer.
8-3 Jackets: Zach Werenski (Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno)
The Lindbohm penalty kicked off a parade to the penalty box for both teams, with lots of four-on-four play. Fabbri would add yet another Blues powerplay goal in what was a disjointed and sluggish third period.
8-4 Jackets: Robby Fabbri (Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron)
FINAL SCORE: 8-4 Jackets
- Dubi gets his first goal of the year
- Nutivaara with his first NHL goal
- Atkinson with four helpers
- Seven Jackets had multi-point games
- Zach Werenski
- The Jackets previously stellar penalty kill took a big hit, with all four St. Louis goals coming with the man advantage.
- Despite the blowout, there were some stretches of ugly play for the Jackets. Still room for improvement, believe it or not.
The Jackets are back in action Tuesday at home against the Washington Capitals.