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Game 34 Recap - Jones-less Chicago beat the Blue Jackets, 4-2

Yes, I know Caleb Jones exists, but that makes for a clunkier title.

Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Throwing back to their days in the Central Division, the Blue Jackets would throw down with Chicago kick off their season series. Though this game was expected to be Seth Jones’ return to Nationwide, the player tested positive for Covid this morning, delaying his return to 2022-23.

First Period:

The game started out real clunky, with a whistle every 20-30 seconds for the first several minutes of the game, and no team getting a real chance. The Blue Jackets actually played some solid defense, making Chicago wait over eight minutes to earn a shot on goal. Their fourth shot on goal resulted in this.

Unreal. This is the third insane save Korpisalo has had in the last two periods. I wonder if it will lead to anything fruitful at the other end...

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Boone Jenner from Gustav Nyquist and Zach Werenski (12:51 1st) - 1-0 Columbus

As the game opened up following the Korpisalo save, and less than 20 seconds after the CBJ goal, Alex DeBrincat was able to follow proper social distancing guidelines for a net-front duel with Joonas Korpisalo. Korpisalo lost.

CHICAGO GOAL - Alex DeBrincat from Riley Stillman (13:51 1st) - 1-1 Tie

Now with the momentum, Chicago was able to force Cole Sillinger into a slashing call to go on the power play, though Boone Jenner got two chances that were better than anything Chicago was able to get off. No dice. One chance was spurred on by Nyquist blocking a shot, and he seemed to be in some difficulty as he went to the bench, but returned soon after. That penalty was killed easily, as was the first 54 seconds of a Laine high sticking that was questionable at best.

Second Period:

After Columbus killed off the latter half of the Chicago penalty, the game seemed to open up, with both teams getting chances, though neither was able to solve Fleury or Korpisalo. At the frame’s quarter- and halfway-marks, Boone Jenner was able to draw a pair of hooking calls. The first CBJ power play was underwhelming at best, the second better but equally cannonless. Jakub Voracek got several shooting chances, which was kinda weird but I’m cool with it.

Unfortunately, Chicago seemed to have more energy toward the end of the period, and got their second with five to go. The puck cleared the Chicago zone, Philipp Kurashev beat Jake Bean to it, and fed the trailing Calvin deHaan. He buried it past Korpisalo for the lead.

CHICAGO GOAL - Calvin deHaan from Philipp Kurashev and MacKenzie Entwistle (15:10 2nd) - 2-1 Chicago

Chicago, for the most part, stayed in control through the end of the frame, and kept the one goal lead going into the last intermission.

Third Period:

The Blue Jackets entered the third needed a goal to give themselves a chance. The teams traded punches early, but after a few minutes Connor Murphy was left wide open and popped one past Korpisalo. Both defensemen got caught up trying to block a Towes shot, and Laine didn’t get back to cover the Columbus native.

CHICAGO GOAL - Connor Murphy from Jonathan Towes and Patrick Kane (6:36 3rd) - 3-1 Chicago

The Blue Jackets had 13 minutes and change left to score twice and get this thing to Overtime. That effort wasn’t helped when Max Domi went off for tripping. The penalty was killed, but now only seven minutes remained. Things stayed open, with Jenner, Chinakhov, and Voracek getting some looks for the CBJ. With 2:58 remaining, Emil Bemstrom got caught on a crosscheck and went to the sin bin. It was a dangerous play that needed to be called, but it basically iced the game for the visitors.

...or did it?

BLUE JACKETS SHORTHANDED GOAL - Gustav Nyquist unassisted (18:39 3rd) - 3-2 Chicago

It did.

CHICAGO EMPTY NET GOAL - Alex DeBrincat from Riley Stillman (19:46 3rd) - 4-2 Chicago.

The Jackets now go on the road, visiting Florida before a pair of metro games at Carolina and Philadelphia.