Matinee hockey again! Forget the NCAA tournament, this is where the real excitement is! NHL debuts, skaters you’ve never heard of, and BJORKSTRAND.
Alexander Wennberg would sit tonight for unspecified reasons, per Torts. Joonas Korpisalo returned to the starting lineup, replaced by Jared Boll.
To the highlights!
FIRST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Your CBJ starters: Brandon Saad, Boone Jenner, Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout, Joonas Korpisalo
Scott Wedgewood and Vojtech Mozik made their NHL debuts for New Jersey today.
New Jersey carried the run of play early in the game, forcing Korpisalo to be sharp early, turning aside a Brian Gionta shot at 3:00.
Devils goal. Reid Boucher was able to put one high over Korpisalo’s glove to open the scoring. After a blocked shot and some poor play from Seth Jones and David Savard entering the defensive zone, New Jersey had a lead. Assists to Andy Greene and Kyle Palmieri at 4:32.
Oliver Bjorkstrad notched Columbus’ first shot on goal at the 5:30 mark of the first period.
New Jersey missed a gaping net on a rebound at 6:30. Korpisalo was looking around wildly, clearly having no idea where the puck was.
New Jersey absolutely owned control of the first half of the first period. Ugly, ugly hockey from Columbus.
Despite New Jersey starting a goaltender making his NHL debut in Wedgewood, the Jackets seemed resolved to not test him. So that was cool, I guess, if the tank is your thing.
Nice pressure for Columbus in the middle of the period, though no shots generated could be considered dangerous. It was at least nice to see the Jackets generate 4 unanswered shots on net. The top line of Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Calvert, and BJORKSTRAND put in a nice shift.
David Savard made an excellent defensive play at 13:30 to prevent a sure Devils goal.
Power play for the Jackets. Mike Sislo went off for holding BJORKSTRAND at 17:53.
Korpisalo made 2 saves shorthanded after a turnover by Seth Jones in the defensive zone. He claimed that he was tripped, and Torts was not happy.
The power play ended with no real chances.
At the end of one, the Devils led the Jackets 1-0. Columbus outshot New Jersey 8-5.
SECOND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Scott Hartnell saw a shot saved off of the shoulder of Wedgewood at 2:00.
Columbus opened with sustained puck possession to start the period, but the Devils did an excellent job keeping everything to the outside.
BLUE JACKETS GOAL! Jared Boll redirected a Dalton Prout shot after Michael Chaput won an offensive zone faceoff to get the Jackets on the board. That is an actual factual thing that happened. Assists to Gregory Campbell and Dalton Prout at 2:43.
Seriously, good for Jared Boll. He’s been the subject of much criticism, and I’ve been more guilty than most in that regard. His celebration was well earned.
End to end action in the second period, with both teams selling out to block shot after shot.
Columbus led in shots at the 8:40 mark 16-5.
Power play for New Jersey. Dalton Prout went off for roughing in the defensive zone at 9:48.
The Devils drew another penalty, leading to 1:11 of 5 on 3. David Savard went off for slashing Travis Zajac’s stick in two at 10:37.
The Blue Jackets killed the 5 on 3.
As Dalton Prout exited the box, he received an outlet pass, but was turned aside by Wedgewood. It was a pretty poor attempt, who tried to deke the netminder andsaw the puck poke checked away.
The Jackets killed the remaining seconds of the Savard penalty.
David Savard blocked a shot from Mike Sislo after a defensive zone turnover at 15:00.
The Devils pushed hard to end the period, but a solid backcheck kept the score level.
At the end of the second period, Columbus and New Jersey were tied at one.
THIRD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
Power play for the Blue Jackets. Sergey Kalinin went off for tripping William Karlsson at 1:57.
The Devils killed the penalty, allowing no real danger to Columbus.
Bjorkstrand with a solid defensive play to clear danger in front of Korpisalo at 5:00.
I’d be writing highlights if there were any, folks. Not much in the way of happenings in the third period.
Solid shift from the 4th line in the offensive zone to lay the body around and create havoc for New Jersey.
Devils goal. Scott Hartnell was tied up with the linesman at the blue line, and Devante Smith-Pelley was able to capitalize on the chaos at 8:34. The puck sat on the goal line before being nudged home. Assist to Adam Larsson.
Power play for Columbus. Jared Boll was hauled down by Stephen Gionta at 10:15.
Jenner saw an attempt saved at 10:40.
Brandon Dubinsky with a great play to prevent Travis Zajac from a shorthanded breakaway at 11:45.
New Jersey killed the penalty.
Korpisalo makes a nice save on a delayed penalty call.
Devils power play. David Savard went off for slashing at 14:34.
Korpisalo made a toe save at 5:00 to keep it a one goal game.
Shoulder save at 16:08 for Korpisalo.
The Jackets killed the penalty.
Brandon Saad had forced an excellent turnover but could not get the shot on net.
The Jackets pulled Korpisalo at 18:00.
Scrum at 18:30.
FINAL: New Jersey Devils 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 1
*** Devante Smith-Pelly
** Jared Boll
* Scott Wedgewood
(Is that the weirdest list of the season? Gotta be, right?)
I have no idea how we are not the worst possession team in the NHL. It's staggering to think there are teams actually worse than us.
Congrats to Scott Hartnell on playing his 1,100th career game. He became the 185th NHL player all time to hit the mark, and the 18th active.
We are the kings of idiotic penalties. The NHL should make us a crown or something to celebrate our 16 year reign of the "dumbest penalty takers in the league."
After a solid second period, Columbus was outshot in the third period by the worst shooting team in the league 8-5. Not great.
The Blue Jackets return to the ice again on Tuesday to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Faceoff is at 7:00 EST.