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Defensive Miscues, Turnovers, Lackadaisical Power Play Cost Jackets

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Another quick start, met with a slew of turnovers, an empty power play, and more questions after latest defeat.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

A fortuitous bounce, coupled by turnovers and the inability to clear the puck. Or one step forward, two steps back.

That depiction is twofold, first describing the Columbus Blue Jackets first period Tuesday night as they hosted the Arizona Coyotes from Nationwide Arena. It also speaks to their season to date.

After another quick start to the game by the Blue Jackets, the Coyotes rallied for four unanswered goals, and Christian Fischer scored his first-career hat trick to propel the Coyotes past Columbus 4-1.

Making his season debut after missing the first seven games with a grade 2 MCL tear, Seth Jones slid back into his familiar paring opposite Zach Werenski and Dean Kukan joined David Savard on the third pair. Right off the opening face-off, Jones and his line mates made their presence felt.

As Jones used his positioning to help get the puck out of the Coyotes’ zone and up the ice, Pierre-Luc Dubois, positioned behind Darcy Kuemper and the back of the net, scored the games’ first goal just 31 seconds in as Dubois’ chip shot from behind the net bounced off Coyotes’ players in front and into the gaping net.

Former Coyote Anthony Duclair had a scoring chance in front of Kuemper, from the blue of the crease. He also drew a tripping penalty on the next sequence back in front of Kuemper.

The Jackets controlled the pace and play early throughout the first period, but an Artemi Panarin turnover and resulting 2-on-1 inside the Jackets’ zone caught Sergei Bobrovsky, and the Coyotes found the games’ equalizer at 7:08 off the stick of Fischer. This would be the momentum changer for both teams, as Columbus never recovered, and Arizona found life.

The Coyotes took the lead with seconds remaining on their first power play chance in the first period when a rolling puck found the unguarded net, and Dylan Strome was positioned to swoop in for the tally. Bobrovsky was caught up on his right side, leaving the net open.

Only 35 seconds into the second period, Fischer scored his second of the evening, poking ahead the feed from Derek Stepan.

In the third period, Fischer completed the hat trick with a snap shot past Bobrovsky, again, resulting from a turnover. Stepan had three assists.

The 4-1 loss draws parallels to the game prior against the Blackhawks, also a 4-1 defeat on home ice, amid, a quick start and the inability to capitalize on the majority of chances. Columbus outshot Arizona 36-26, despite 17 missed shots on net. Kuemper made 35 saves, while Bobrovsky stopped 22 of the 26 he faced. The Jackets will face the St. Louis Blues on Thursday from Enterprise Center at 8:00.

Additional Notes

During the first period, Artemi Panarin and Nick Foligno swapped lines, with Panarin dropping to the second line and Foligno taking over on the fist alongside Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson. The two would go back to their respective spots as the game played on. Darcy Kuemper made just his second start of the season after Antti Raanta started six of the previous seven. Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play, and is just 1-for-18 on home ice this season. They are currently two for their last 17 chances, dating back to Oct. 11 at the Panthers. Seth Jones led the game with 27:24 ice time. The Blue Jackets had 13 giveaways tonight. They committed a season-high 14 in their win at Florida. With Shane Doan retiring at the conclusion of last season, Oliver Ekman-Larsson became the fourth captain in Coyotes history.