After a rough pair of losses going into the bye week, the Blue Jackets needed to get things back on track - particularly since the Dallas Stars were coming in red hot, having won eight of their last eleven games.
One might have expected Sergei Bobrovsky to be given the call, but the coaching staff decided to trust in Joonas Korpisalo, who had spent the bye week in Cleveland playing with the Monsters.
This game would also mark the debut for newly acquired Jussi Jokinen, who joined the club after being claimed off waivers from LA, giving him a chance to play in front of the home crowd.
The Jackets came out hard and dominated much of the first period, finally getting rewarded when Jordan Schroeder would pick up a rebound and put it past a scrambling Bishop who had been attempting to get back in the crease after leaving his net to play the puck.
The Jackets won faceoffs, moved the puck, and generally made life hell for Dallas - and it showed.
The second period...not so much.
Though the Blue Jackets would still have the lead after 40 minutes, the ice was dramatically tilted in favor of the Stars, and only some highlight reel saves from Korpisalo kept the game in hand.
This is the textbook definition of ‘not a good look.’
Play with fire, you get burned, and the Blue Jackets looked pretty singed early in the third period when Antoine Roussel appeared to have scored on a play where Alexander Radulov crashed the net, but on review, it was confirmed that Radulov had committed goaltender interference, negating the score.
Columbus would balance the ice a bit more for the rest of the period, but as time ran low the Stars would find (or perhaps make) a bit of puck luck, with Seth Jones missing a clearing attempt with the Dallas net empty, and Dan Hamhuis firing a puck at the net in an attempt to salvage the broken play, only to see Alexander Radulov redirect the shot, banking it off Korpi for the tying goal.
Overtime would follow with some man advantage attempts for both teams after the Jackets and Stars both committed penalties, but neither club would find a way to end it.
Artemi Panarin would have the only goal in the shootout, while Korpisalo would stop Radulov, Jason Spezza, and Tyler Seguin to secure the win - his first shootout victory of the season.
Final Score - Blue Jackets 2, Stars 1 (SO)
A few thoughts on the game:
- Torts put Jack Johnson and David Savard together for the first time in quite a few games, and it seemed to help Johnson, who put in some solid minutes and had some good moves on the PK at several points.
- Johnson was feeling so confident he thought he would be given the nod as the third shooter in the shootout, and had to get called back to the bench in favor of Wennberg. Oops.
- Korpi won this game, hands down. Bob might have been able to match his performance, but with the team giving him the call, Korpisalo rose to the occasion. It will be interesting if he gets some more starts coming out of the all star break.
- Dallas deserves a fair bit of credit for the way they drove the play in the second and third period, but the Jackets needed to push back harder, and until the final minutes of regulation we didn’t really see it. A little more effort to put this game away and it might have been won in regulation.
- Jokinen didn’t look out of place in his first game, if not lighting the world on fire. (Though what exactly was that shootout move?) It seems like he’s willing to find his role on the team and do whatever helps the club win.
- Good on Schroeder for his first goal as a Blue Jacket. Congratulations.
- What’s next?
Vegas, baby. Vegas.