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Game #9 Recap: Blue Jackets take down Blackhawks in Friday night snoozer

Here’s what happened.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets, fresh off their shootout victory over the Florida Panthers, hit the road immediately for the second leg of a back to back, visiting the Windy City to take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

First, one more look at the winner from Thursday night, a beauty from Alexandre Texier:

Meanwhile, after Jack Roslovic made his debut, it sounds like Patrik Laine is on his way in from Canada and could be available for Columbus early next week.

After starting Elvis Merzlikins Thursday, the Blue Jackets started Joonas Korpisalo against the Blackhawks. He would start against fellow Finn Kevin Lankinen.

Could the Blue Jackets get a second win in a row, on new center Jack Roslovic’s birthday? Here’s what happened.

First Period

Chicago opened the period with possession. Not many familiar names for the Hawks, but Korpisalo was able to get an early glove save on Duncan Keith as the Jackets were hemmed in. Dylan Strome was hooked early by Liam Foudy and hauled down directly in front of Korpisalo, and with just 2:22 gone, Chicago went on the game’s first power play. The Columbus penalty kill was able to settle the team and prevent the Hawks from getting a shot on net as they killed the minor.

Werenski earned the first shot of the game for Columbus with 13:30 remaining, but Lankinen was able to steer his effort harmlessly into the corner. Columbus went to the power play at 7:47 as Phillip Kurashev went to the box for hooking. After some sustained zone time, Oliver Bjorkstrand was able to bury a shot from the left hand circle after Werenski made a nice play at the line. Werenski kept it in and found Cam Atkinson, Atkinson fed Bjorkstrand for a one timer and the Jackets found themselves in front.

Columbus goal (1-0): Bjorkstrand from Atkinson and Werenski, 8:53

Good things happen when you move your feet on the power play.

Three shots on goal between the teams as we crossed the midway mark of the period, so not the most exciting affair but Columbus would be happy with the lead. The teams continued to trade possession, though not shots- as they hit the final TV timeout of the period with 4:53 remaining, they had just two shots apiece after Korpisalo made a big save on Carl Soderberg.

As the period wound down, neither team threatened seriously and we went to the locker room with the Jackets leading 1-0. Shots favored the Blackhawks 4-3.

Feel the excitement.

Second Period

Jack Roslovic saw his first shot as a Blue Jacket turned aside by the Hawks netminder early in the second, and Boone Jenner was unable to capitalize on the rebound as it was knocked away. The Blackhawks responded quickly, looking for a wrap around from Strome but Vladislav Gavrikov was able to help knock it off the side of the net as the post was wide open. More action in the early minutes than the entire first period.

After a long shift in the defensive zone, Columbus was able to chop the puck out for a change. After the change, Oliver Bjorkstrand broke the puck out to Eric Robinson. Robinson was able to get behind the Hawks’ defense And finally buried a shot past Lankinen.

Columbus goal (2-0): Robinson from Bjorkstrand, 3:39

Chicago went right to the power play with 4:05 gone as Andrew Shaw was hit in the mouth with a high stick from Seth Jones in a puck battle. The Blue Jackets were able to kill it, relatively uneventfully.

Chicago began to press the issue, generating several long offensive chances but Columbus was able to keep the home team off the board as the game began to open up. With 10:13 remaining, Alexandre Texier was sent to the box for tripping Connor Murphy on the forecheck. This time, Chicago capitalized. Dylan Strome, around the net all night, found the back of the net on a feed from Patrick Kane as Korpisalo was screened by Andrew Shaw.

Chicago goal (2-1): Strome from Kane and Kubalik, 10:47

It took just seconds for Texier to make up for his mistake, earning a Blue Jackets power play as Calvin de Hagan cross checked him at 11:24. This time, the power play was typically awful, and Columbus was unable to capitalize. The best attempt was a shorthanded move by Mattias Janmark, walking around Zach Werenski.

Korpisalo worked to keep Columbus in the game, with 18 saves on 19 shots in the second period alone as the teams hit the final tv timeout of the period. While he was playing well, any defensive support for their netminder would’ve been appreciated.

The Jackets were able to escape the second period with a 2-1 lead. Korpisalo led the way with 22 saves on 23 shots.

Third Period

With 20 minutes to go, could the offense help carry the load to get the Blue Jackets into the room with two points?

The Jackets opened the third period on the front foot, generating a couple shifts of offensive zone pressure and forcing the Blackhawks into an icing just 98 seconds into the final frame. The first five minutes proceeded much as the first period did - long periods played along the boards, but no shots or scoring chances to speak of by either team. Patrick Kane hit the post from a very sharp angle, and Eric Robinson was denied on a half break, but neither chance looked terribly dangerous.

As we crossed the midway part of the period, Mikhail Grigorenko was denied by Lankinen as Grigs was left alone in between the dots. Jack Roslovic continued to drive play and hunt for his first goal as a Jacket, clearly looking for the back of the net on his 24th birthday. With 8:45 to go, Oliver Bjorkstrand was denied on the doorstep on a gorgeous look.

This is deeply dull.

As the teams crossed the final five minutes to go, they continued to trade board battle possessions, but neither team was able to catch a goaltender out of position to threaten the scoreline. With 3:30 to go, a dangerous shift by Patrick Kane saw several chances as Kane got behind the defense and was denied by Korpisalo before being denied again on the back door with 3:05 to go as Korpisalo slid back across the net to deny the Hawks dynamo.

With 1:02 remaining, Chicago finally pulled their netminder for a sixth skater. It didn’t matter, however, as Columbus held the line.


Columbus Blue Jackets 2 Chicago Blackhawks 1

Final Thoughts

Stick taps to Torts for his 400th game behind the bench for Columbus. Truly a milestone to be proud of for the winningest coach in franchise history.

Jack Roslovic wasn’t rewarded with a point, but he was everywhere and extremely active on the ice. His hustle and give-a-damn was great to see and much needed on a sleepy back-to-back.

Oliver Bjorkstrand is currently the best player in the top six. He’s outstanding right now.

Speaking of the top six, Liam Foudy deserves those top six minutes. Get him there, Torts.

Seven game point streak behind 31 saves for Joonas Korpisalo. Huge two points in regulation for the Blue Jackets on the road.

Up Next

The Columbus Blue Jackets remain in Chicago for the second game of their road trip. Puck drop is scheduled for Sunday night at 7 PM EST.