It was a very typical Columbus Blue Jackets game, with long periods getting pinned in the zone, some timely goals, and then a late goal surrendered off of a turnover and a quick loss in overtime as the opponent’s skill won out. It’s nice to leave Chicago with three points, but they were less than four minutes away from a series sweep and an all-important regulation win.
A big first period for Patty
Patrik Laine opened the scoring with a goal that showed off his speed, strength, and killer shot. He took a feed from Cam Atkinson, entered the zone with speed, then unleashed his wrister around Nicolas Beaudin to beat Kevin Lankinen over his right shoulder. When interviewed in the second intermission, Laine referred to this as “textbook top cheese.”
Later in the period, he dropped the gloves with Brandon Hagel, in a fight that Laine started.
Laine was stepping up for his boy Jack but pic.twitter.com/LvwXcBX8oX— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 14, 2021
Chicago ties it up, Part 1
Early in the second, Patrick Kane fired a long distance shot, which deflected off the leg of Pius Suter right to the stick of Beaudin. Vladislav Gavrikov was blocked by Suter and Andrew Peeke couldn’t get over in time to block the shot, but he did block Korpi’s view.
Welcome back, Z
Zach Werenski made his return to the lineup after missing three games with an ankle injury. He helped give the the Jackets the lead back with 5:13 remaining in the second period. He took a pass from Jones at the top of the zone and fired through an open lane in the slot. Atkinson was positioned in front of the goal and deflected the shot down for the goal. That was Cam’s second point of the night and sixth of the weekend.
how bout that, we're back on top pic.twitter.com/CSwT2BT5hi— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 14, 2021
Chicago ties it up, Part 2
This had the feeling of a game the Jackets would be stealing, with so much time spent getting pinned in the defensive zone. You just knew that the 2-1 lead couldn’t hold. With less than four minutes remaining, Werenski got his pocket picked by Philipp Kurashev as he tried to carry the puck out of the defensive zone. Carl Soderberg recovered the puck and had an open shot at Korpi.
The sad thing is, the third period was a much better period overall for the Jackets. They led shot attempts 17-11 and allowed only four shots on goal while taking 12 themselves. The expected goals for the third were 1.29-0.11 in favor of Columbus. Over the last two periods, they led the high danger shot attempt battle, 10-2.
I was excited to see what the Jackets could do in 3-on-3 overtime with a weapon like Laine. But he was paired with...Nick Foligno? Why not an actual center who has been hot, like Kevin Stenlund or Jack Roslovic?
Foligno lost the faceoff and Columbus was stuck playing defense. Foligno did get a defensive zone takeaway, but his outlet pass went right to Alex DeBrincat in the neutral zone. DeBrincat handed the puck off to Kane and skated over to the right circle while both Foligno and Seth Jones focused on Kane and the puck. Kane’s pass deflected off Jones’s skate, then DeBrincat chipped it up, and then knocked the puck out of the air past Korpisalo at point-blank range.
Fancy Stats Cheers & Jeers
Cheers: The Stenlund line were the leading possession line, with props to Max Domi for one of his strongest games. He led the team in 5v5 CF% (71.43) and ixG (0.39).
Jeers: Alexandre Texier and Mikhail Grigorenko deserve a better center. Whether they were with Riley Nash or Boone Jenner, they just couldn’t get enough going in the offensive zone. Grigs was on ice for just three shot attempts for, and Tex for just two. Meanwhile, they were each on ice for 12 shot attempts against.
Cheers: Werenski, Jones, Vladislav Gavrikov, and Andrew Peeke all had a CF% of 50 or better.
Jeers: David Savard was the worst defender with a 37.50 CF%. It’s clear from this game which part of the 44/58 pair was the weak link. Torts and Brad Shaw should consider scratching Savard to get Dean Kukan back into the lineup.
The Jackets travel to Raleigh for a single game against the Hurricanes on Monday night.