The Columbus Blue Jackets, on the heels of consecutive 6-3 losses in Nationwide Arena, traveled to Newark to take on the New Jersey Devils in a matinee affair before heading to Finland for their Global Series.
The Blue Jackets made one lineup change, scratching Eric Robinson as Mathieu Olivier made a return to the lineup. The team also recalled Joonas Korpisalo from Cleveland after his rehab start, but he did not dress for the game.
Appears #CBJ Eric Robinson, who is from New Jersey, will be a scratch today.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) October 30, 2022
Elvis Merzlikins got the start in net. Here’s what happened.
A slow start to the game from the Blue Jackets as Elvis Merzlikins was forced to make six saves in the first six minutes. No rest for the weary, either, as the Jackets took a penalty for tripping at 6:26, David Jiricek the offending player. The Jackets allowed one goal, killing the penalty but the Jackets could not find any offense of their own - through the first 10:54, shots favored New Jersey 8-1.
With 7:53 to go, Johnny Gaudreau took a minor penalty for hooking in the defensive zone, sending the Jackets back to the penalty kill. The Jackets managed another kill, allowing six shots, but without sustained offensive pressure from the road time, it would only be a matter of time before the Devils capitalized. With 5:27 to go, Columbus had their first real chance of the game as Gustav Nyquist was denied by Vitek Vanacek and the rebound cleared before Jakub Voracek could capitalize. Seconds later, Tomas Tatar hit the post but the puck stayed out. With 2:50 remaining in the first period, the Devils finally broke through - Fabian Zetterlund beat Elvis Merzlikins following a neutral zone turnover and a scramble situation in the defensive zone.
New Jersey goal (0-1): Zetterlund from Hischier, 17:10
After 20 minutes, the Devils led 1-0 on the scoreboard and shots favored the Devils 15-4. Elvis Merzlikins was good, the defense was terrible.
The second period continued the trend of the first, a shooting gallery in the Blue Jackets own end. Unlike the first, however, it did not take the Devils nearly as long to break through. Nico Hischier beat Elvis Merzlikins glove side on the rush at 3:23 of the second, one Elvis would like to have back.
New Jersey goal (0-2): Hischier, unassisted, 3:23
It took just 17 seconds for he Devils to make it 3-0 as Ryan Graves, again on a rush, cracked a one timer past Merzlikins at 3:55. When the Devils are allowed to have all of the opportunities they want, things like that are going to happen.
New Jersey goal (0-3): Graves from Hughes and Bratt, 3:55
At 6:39 of the period, Columbus finally joined the game and found the back of the net. Yegor Chinakhov beat Vanacek for his second of the season on a nice wrister from the left circle, cutting it to a two goal deficit.
Columbus goal (1-3): Chinakhov from Sillinger, 6:39
SILLY ➡️ CHINNY pic.twitter.com/hewgI4s4Eb— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) October 30, 2022
The Devils’ relentless pressure ramped back up after the net, but the Jackets earned a power play at 10:04 of the second period as John Marino was boxed for tripping Boone Jenner. From start to finish, the power play was a complete disaster and the team dropped to 0-24 with a man advantage to start the season, generating no shots.
Elvis made an absurd save on Jonas Sigenthaler to keep it at just 3-1, saving 22 of 25 shots through the first 35 minutes of the game. With 41.4 remaining, Elvis made a save and covered the puck, but after the whistle blew, Nate Bastian poked at Elvis and Elvis retaliated. Bastian was dinged for slashing, Merzlikins was downed for roughing for protecting himself while Erik Gudbranson, brought in for his toughness, stood idly by.
Andrew Peeke made a terrible turnover in the dying seconds of the period and the puck bounced off Elvis’ glove and into the net, restoring the Devils’ three goal lead. Crusher.
New Jersey goal (1-4): Marino, unassisted, 19:38
Some stats with help from @NatStatTrick through 40:— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) October 30, 2022
Shots on goal: 30-12 NJ (subject to change!)
Shot attempts (5x5): 39-23 NJ
Expected goals (5x5): 1.37-0.36 NJ
The Devils opened the third period on the power play as Boone Jenner was sent to the box for holding at 2:02. Elvis Merzlikins appeared to be in some discomfort on the power play, but remained in his crease. Seconds after the injury stoppage, a puck got loose and Jonas Siegenthaler was unmarked and put the rebound into an empty net.
New Jersey goal (1-5): Siegenthaler from Mercer and Haula, 3:46
The Jackets earned a second power play with 9:38 remaining as Johnny Gaudreau was hauled down by John Marino. The Devils killed the power play, allowing three shots. 0-25 on the season now. With 7:13 to go, Jesper Bratt took a cross-ice pass and beat Merzlikins on an odd man rush after one of the defensemen fell down.
New Jersey goal (1-6): Bratt from Hughes and Tatar, 12:47
New Jersey tacked on a seventh as Miles Wood simply beat David Jiricek. Welcome to the league, rookie.
New Jersey goal (1-7): Wood from Bastian and McLeod, 14:47
The Devils also managed to hit 50 shots on net before this one ended, so there’s that.
Columbus Blue Jackets New Jersey Devils
As was stated in the preview, but bears repeating: if you were one of those fans to harass the Merzlikinses, or any other athlete or person, and/or would like to argue against these points, please feel free to do so down below so we know to ban you. Athletes are human beings, not toys for your amusement, and treating people with respect is the literal bare minimum of being a functioning member of society. Be better, Blue Jackets fans.
Hopefully the team can find some defense on the flight to Finland, because the defending Stanley Cup Champions will be there waiting for them.
This is the kind of result, after the kind of start to the season, that should get people fired.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will take on the Colorado Avalanche in Finland as part of their Global Series. Faceoff is scheduled for Friday, November 4 at 2:00 PM EDT.