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Game #17 Recap: Fun with backup goaltenders

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Jackets fall in a shootout after a wild second period

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Do not adjust your screen; Wennberg did score a goal
Jason Mowry-USA TODAY Sports

With both the New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets playing the second leg of a back-to-back on Saturday night, each team chose to start their backup goalies: Alexandar Georgiev for New York and Joonas Korpisalo for Columbus. As you may expect, both teams scored a bunch of goals. How they did it was quite different, however.

The Jackets controlled the game early, but the Rangers opened the scoring at 5:54 with a a Mika Zibanejad goal. The goal was set up by a beautiful play by Pavel Buchnevich, who held the puck just long to wait for a sliding Markus Nutivaara to get out of his way. We all know Torts loves players to BLAWK SHAWTS but this is a case where I’d rather Nuti block it with his stick and stay on his feet, so he doesn’t get taken completely out of the play.

This flipped the momentum to the New York side, until the end of the period when Lias Andersson went off for a tripping penalty. 1:28 into the man advantage, the Blue Jackets (checks notes)...scored a power play goal? That can’t be right.

Well I’ll be damned. Columbus has now scored 4 goals in 8 power plays over their last three games. Does this mean the power play is fixed, or is it just dumb luck? Either way, I’ll take it.

In the second, the Rangers got goals from Buchnevich and Chris Kreider a minute and a half apart to blow open a 3-1 lead.

Fortunately the Jackets didn’t quit and ended up with a one-two punch of their own to tie it up.First, a deep shot from Seth Jones got deflected in by Pierre-Luc Dubois:

32 seconds later, El Capitan crashed the net and scored off a feed from Boone Jenner. That 71/38/77 line has been surprisingly productive together. For all we’ve criticized Foligno’s play (with good reason), he’s managed to score 6 goals already.

Dubois went to the box for a hooking penalty (is it just me or is PLD going to the box too often? He leads the team in penalty minutes) but the penalty kill stepped up and produced a shorty. It was scored by (checks notes)...Alexander Wennberg? That can’t be right. He never shoots!

(rubs eyes)

I feel like I just saw a unicorn.

Heckuva pass through traffic from Seth Jones.

The lead was shortlived, as the Rangers victimized the Jackets for yet another “last minute of a period” goal. Jimmy Vesey was the blueshirt to score that one.

After that 6 goal explosion, the game remained tied throughout the third period. Columbus outshot New York 11-2, with a 21-8 shot attempt advantage at even strength. Overtime was more of the same, with a 6-2 shot attempt advantage and 2 high danger scoring chances for the Jackets.

Overall, Columbus had 38 shots on goal in the game to just 19 for New York. Were all of the goals Korpi’s fault? No. But if he is to become the full time starter at some point, he needs to make some tough saves. On the other side, Georgiev made 34 saves, but the Blue Jackets didn’t make him work as hard:

Natural Stat Trick

The final tally in the shootout was 3-2, with Vesey winning it in the fifth round. Cam Atkinson and Dubois scored in the first and third rounds, respectively, with Artemi Panarin, Anthony Duclair, and Oliver Bjorkstrand coming up empty.

Overall not a great night for the 91/10/28 line. Duclair and Wennberg were on ice for 3 goals against, and Bjorkstrand for 2. Duclair played 5:40 and Bjorkstrand played 7:06.

With the Bettman point, the Jackets remain in first place in the Metro, 1 point ahead of Philadelphia.

The next game is on Monday as they travel to Texas for a rematch of last week’s win over the Dallas Stars.