Let’s jump in, shall we?
Okay, so off the bat I was discombobulated by the reverse retro jerseys, but it seems like they did us some good by lending us a nice, red, aggressive identity tonight. The Jackets looked sharp out of the gate, but the first player on the team to truly shock the Lightning was none other than Zac Dalpe with his first NHL goal since October 20, 2016.
The look on his face says it all:
And here was a great piece of his post-game interview:
Dalpe went to see his wife and kids in Cleveland last night before returning to CBus. He assumes his kids were awake for his goal. "My boys were pretty upset I had to leave last night, and I said something on the way out like, 'Maybe I'll get you a goal to make up for it.'" #CBJ— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) April 7, 2021
Max Domi had the gorgeous feed to Dalpe, which was an excellent preface to how well he ended up playing the rest of the game. Hang on, I’m getting ahead of myself! The first period went well, ending 1-0 CBJ thanks to Dalpe’s goal and a solid first period performance by Joonas Korpisalo and defensive company.
Right out of the gates, Jack Roslovic scored a beauty right on the doorstep - 2-0 Jackets. Andrei Vasilevskiy was certainly showing some cracks at this point; the two goals he let in were not easy to defend, but he was not playing at his sharpest.
Zach Werenski and Yanni Gourde got into it over Gourde bumping Joonas Korpisalo, who had the puck in his possession. It was clear at this point that the Lightning were flustered and frustrated, and the Jackets actually capitalized on this opportunity instead of letting it slip through their fingers. What a concept!
Now the second period is over, and #CBJ leads 2-0 thanks to goals from Dalpe and Roslovic, a Buckeye and a Columbus native, respectively.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) April 7, 2021
Shots on goal: 24-22 TBL
Shot attempts (5x5): 33-24 TBL
Max Domi! The cherry on top of his game tonight was a third period goal, assisted by Jack Roslovic. He had a beautiful shot that dinged off the post and slipped behind Vasilevskiy - we’ll take it! It’s been my favorite part of this season to watch him come into his game with the Blue Jackets this year.
After Domi’s goal, there was still a lot of period left - A.K.A. a lot of time for the Blue Jackets to mess things up. The Jackets were up 3-0 when they killed a Tampa Bay power play, then swapped right back to the power play when Tyler Johnson was sent off for hooking.
Unfortunately, Boone Jenner took a Patrik Laine PP zinger to what appeared to be his hand or arm - he left the game and did not return, which Tortorella said he did not have a good feeling about after the game, to which I concur.
The Lightning then did something wild - they pulled Vasilevskiy with over seven minutes left in the third period. Don’t see that very often! The Jackets made them pay for it; Nick Foligno scored the empty-netter to bring the score to 4-0.
Unfortunately Korpisalo could not hold the shutout; Ross Colton scored with a little over five minutes left. The Jackets killed an important power play, even without Jenner, but the Lightning managed to slide one more goal in to bring the final score to 4-2.
Honestly, I’ll take it! With at least one goal per period from exciting players, the Jackets certainly had an encouraging showing at Nationwide tonight after a disappointing weekend in Florida.
The Columbus Blue Jackets rematch Tampa Bay Lightning same time, same place on Thursday, April 8.