On Tuesday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to Nevada for their inaugural clash with the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights. Vegas has exceeded all expectations this season, leading the NHL in the standings heading into the game with the Jackets.
Leading the opposition against the Columbus Blue Jackets would be, well, former Columbus Blue Jacket “Wild Bill” William Karlsson. Karlsson is currently in the midst of the season of his life, leading the expansion Knights with 25 goals heading into Tuesday’s clash. Meanwhile, former Jacket Jonathan Marchessault leads Vegas in assists (27) and points (44).
Columbus has struggled to score goals of late. Columbus has the worst road penalty kill in the league against a high flying offense. Yet, no one was willing to write off a team starting Sergei Bobrovsky in net.
How did it work out?
RIP Jim Johannson.
Josh Anderson had a glorious chance denied by Marc-Andre Fleury early. Rimer made the note that Vegas is 20-1 when they score first, so a solid first period would be key for Columbus. 3:32 into the game, Pierre-Luc Dubois went off for holding Marchessault who had a quick rush up the middle of the ice. After killing the penalty, Dubois had a great shot turned aside by Fleury. Columbus definitely came to play early.
After a defensive zone turnover, Vegas was able to capitalize. Several shots were turned aside before William Karlsson was able to clean up a rebound in front of Bobrovsky. Columbus challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal stood at 8:22.
Vegas goal: Karlsson from England and Marchessault, 8:22
Amazing what going to the front of the net does. Chaos led to that goal for Vegas. Columbus allowed Vegas second and third chances in the offensive zone, which led to Karlsson cleaning up a greasy goal in front, a former hallmark of the Blue Jackets.
At 11:02, Columbus went to the power play after Colin Miller went off for holding. William Karlsson had the best chance of the whole power play on a 20 feet breakaway but was denied by Bobrovsky with the blocker. Columbus did not register a shot on the man advantage. At 13:50, PLD had a shot glove saved adn it was a beauty by Fleury. Panarin had a great shot denied at 14:19.
After the Vegas goal, Columbus pushed hard, led by the first line. PLD and Josh Anderson both led the attack and looked seriously dangerous. After several minutes of pressure, the Jackets found and equalizer off the stick of Markus Nutivaara. Nick Foligno danced through the middle of the ice before leaving a drop pass that Nutivaara buried behind Fleury.
Columbus goal: Nutivaara from Foligno, 15:57
Immediately after the goal, Bobrovsky denied James Neal. At 19:09, there was some confusion regarding a high stick but James Neal denied he was hit, and play continued with a neutral zone faceoff.
After 20 minutes, the teams were tied at one.
Columbus opened the second period with a push, generating a solid shift of offensive zone pressure. Vegas made a solid push after the Columbus shift, but Bobrovsky was able to turn Vegas aside. Matt Calvert took a great shot in the slot that Fleury turned aside at 4:00 of the period. After several minutes of action, the Jackets took the lead on a Josh Anderson rebound chance. Anderson got his team leading 15th goal.
Columbus goal: Anderson from Jones and Panarin, 6:46
something madness something four on four something equalizer
Vegas goal: Miller from Schmidt and Marchessault, 7:59
After Vegas returned to the power play at the conclusion of 4 on 4, a laser from the left circle beat Bobrovsky.
Vegas goal: Hunt from Theodore and Neal, 9:47
Vegas came right back and scored again. A great pass off a rush up ice saw James Neal give Vegas a 4-2 lead.
Vegas goal: Neal from Haula and Perron, 12:15
Columbus had a wide open net but Matt Calvert sent his shot wide, wasting a feed from Alex Wennberg.
Vegas controlled the game in the second. No doubt about it. Bobrovsky made several saves to keep the Jackets even within two. But it wasn’t a close period. By the skin of their teeth, Columbus prevented Vegas from being the sixth team to put up four goals in one period against them.
The Jackets gave up 31 shots on goal in 2 periods.
Vegas came out kicking ass in the third. After Karlsson stole the puck from Panarin, Neal hit the post. Anderson missed a wide open net at 3:30. Panarin was denied at 5:16 but the CBJ went to the power play after a hooking penalty to Hunt. On the power play, Werenski was denied on a golden chance. The Jackets had chances but were denied by Fleury. The Knights killed the penalty.
On a four on four, Karlsson was sprung by Theodore who buried the pass behind Bobrovsky with Johnson and Savard on the ice.
Vegas goal: Karlsson from Theodore and Hunt, 9:21
Sorry, I went to bed. Life happens.
Vegas Golden Knights 5 Columbus Blue Jackets 2