The Columbus Blue Jackets were steamrolled on Tuesday night 7-2 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. I don’t think there was anybody who realistically expected the Jackets to come out of this game with a victory, but I also don’t think too many people thought it would be this bad. To be fair, the Blue Jackets were out their top defensive pairing of Zach Werenski and Jake Bean, not to mention their best forward as of late, Alexandre Texier.
If you want to read on, here is how it went down...
The Blue Jackets looked as if they may just defy logic and keep it close with the Bolts tonight, keeping the shots close for the first five minutes of the game. Sadly, it didn’t take long for the game to go off the rails.
Sean Kuraly gave Tampa their first power play opportunity after he was called for a hook behind the Lightning net. It was a questionable call as it appeared Cal Foote was actually holding Kuraly’s stick. Regardless, it set up the Lightning to jump out to an early lead.
Ondrej Palat scored just over 30 seconds into the man advantage beating Korpisalo stick side after he got behind the defense.
1-0 Lightning (Palat from Point and Hedman)
Shortly after the Palat power play goal, the Jackets received their “make-up call” when it was determined Dean Kukan was slashed upon entering the zone. I will say it was a little bit more of a legitimate call than Kuraly’s penalty, but it did seem like the refs felt the need to even it up.
The Blue Jackets however, did not have the same success as Tampa on their man advantage. The highlight of the power play was a couple of Laine one-timers that didn’t make it on net. Other than that, it was a lot of nothing.
After the penalty ended, the Lightning picked up where they had left off before being shorthanded. They quickly grabbed a two goal lead when Ondrej Palat scored again by deflecting a Ryan McDonagh point shot.
2-0 Lightning (Palat from McDonagh and Point)
With about three and half minutes left in the period, Victor Hedman somehow ended up on a breakaway and drew iron as well a slashing penalty. Tampa had a golden opportunity to pretty much put the game away, and wasted little time. Corey Perry cleaned up a loose puck from a scramble in front with Joonas Korpisalo falling back in his crease.
3-0 (Perry from Maroon and Sergachev)
The good news: First period ended.
The Bad news: There were still two more to be played.
The Jackets had to act quick if they wanted to make this game somewhat interesting. That is exactly what they did. Dean Kukan had crept low in the Lightning zone and found a loose puck from a point shot and beat Vasilevskiy short side.
3-1 Lightning (Kukan from Nyquist and Boqvist)
Pretty much immediately after the goal, the Jackets turned the puck over leading to a scoring chance for the Lightning. Brayden Point leaned into a one timer and beat Korpisalo, who didn’t appear ready for the shot.
4-1 Lightning (Point from Foote and Palat)
From here the game opened up. Not long after Tampa reclaimed the three goal lead, the Jackets once again cut it to two. Gus Nyquist got behind the Lightning defense and Andrew Peeke found him with a beautiful pass. Gus walked in, showed great patience and beat Vasilevskiy top shelf.
4-2 Lightning (Nyquist from Peeke and Gavrikov)
After three goals to open the middle frame, the game calmed back down a bit, but it was evident the Jackets had woken up — at least briefly — after a lifeless first period.
The Jackets just missed bringing themselves within one goal when Oliver BJORKSTRAND and Boone Jenner had a golden chance on an odd-man rush. BJORKSTRAND corralled a blocked shot and quickly took off up ice with Jenner. Bjorky fired a shot off of a nice toe drag all in one motion. Vasilevsky got a pad on it, and Boone couldn’t put home the juicy rebound. To add insult to injury, Jenner was called for hooking only seconds later.
The third time was the charm. After failing to stop the Lightning on their first two power plays, the Blue Jackets were finally able to get the kill and keep the game within reach. Unfortunately the fourth time wouldn’t be as charmed. As the Jenner penalty expired, minor league call-up, Scott Harrington, went off for delay of game after clearing the puck out of the zone and out of the playing area. Tampa took approximately 5 seconds to score. Patrick Maroon roofed a loose puck over a sprawling Korpisalo.
5-2 Lightning (Maroon from Perry)
The two teams would grind out the remaining minutes of the period. The Blue Jackets scored a few, but also gave up a few and found themselves still down by three goals after 40 minutes.
The Lightning scored 36 seconds into the period. Adam Boqvist failed to clear the defensive zone, giving the Lightning a mini 3-on-1. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare promptly beat Korpisalo who once again couldn’t come up with a timely save and bail out his teammates.
6-2 Lightning (Bellemare from Rutta)
The Blue Jackets did manage to create a few good scoring chances, but were unable to convert. Roslovic was gifted a breakaway thanks to a bad line change, but fired the puck directly into Vasilevskiy’s open and waiting glove. Andrew Peeke also got behind the defense but fired the puck into the pad of the Tampa goalie.
The Jackets were given a power play about halfway through the period. Erik Cernak lost an edge and took out Cole Sillinger as he drove to the net. Cole was in some pain and did not return to the game, missing the final 7:40 of the game. The Jackets didn’t really seem to scare about the power play as they carelessly slopped it away, nearly giving up a shorthanded breakaway goal in the process.
The Lightning scored their 7th goal of the game off of another broken play that saw the Jackets’ defenseman scrambling and out of position. Alex Killorn was standing on the back door and easily put the puck in the net from the pass by Anthony Cirelli. The Jackets have now conceded a touchdown (and extra point) in each of their last two games.
7-2 Lightning (Killorn from Cirelli and Stamkos)
The rest of the game was largely a formality and both teams appeared to be content with running out the clock. The Blue Jackets were given another power play late in the game thanks to a delay of game. Once again, the Jackets appeared listless and sloppy, unable to generate any real dangerous chances. They did not generate a single shot on any of their three power play opportunities.
Leaen from it and then burn the tape.
The Jackets will try to regain some self-respect on Thursday when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils.