The patchwork Columbus Blue Jackets took on the New York Islanders tonight and hung tough, but in the end lost in overtime by a final score of 4-3. Joonas Korpisalo takes the loss, but kept his team in the game and played very well, making 42 saves along the way. It was a gutsy effort by a very shorthanded team, and while it hurts to not get the win, I think getting a point out this game is somewhat of a win in itself. I’m not much for silver linings, but aside from blowing leads, there was a lot of good in this game. I mean have you seen this team’s current defensive corps? If they play this hard every night (a few players excluded), they will at least be fun to watch this year.
Here’s how it went down.
The shorthanded Jackets came out and kept pace with the Isles and generated the first scoring chance on a two-on-one. Eric Robinson slid a pass across the zone on the rush, but Yegor Chinakhov partially fanned on the shot, sending it harmlessly behind the net. It was an otherwise slow start to this one, with just two shots on net per team in the first ten minutes of the game. Both teams struggled to find any rhythm with a lot of neutral zone turnovers, dump-ins and icings killing the flow of the game.
Emil Bemstrom had a few of the best looks of the period including a nice one-timer, but Sorokin was up to task each time. Bemstrom had a strong period but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
New York put together a push near the end of the period, but Joonas Korpisalo looked calm and collected, making a couple of big saves to keep the game scoreless. Overall, the Jackets defense played a stout opening period, only allowing a couple legitimate scoring chances. His biggest save of the period came on the one real breakdown, when Brock Nelson got behind the defense and put a backhander on net that he was able to fight off.
New York outshot the Jackets 10-6 in the period, with the majority of their shots coming in the latter half of the frame. All in all, the Blue Jackets played a solid road period to open the game.
The Blue Jackets looked to have built upon their strong opening period, and came out and dictated the play early on. Emil Bemstrom drew a penalty just over a minute into the frame on a pure hustle play where he outskated the defense down the wing, getting held in the process.
Cole Sillinger finally got the monkey off his back, cashing in on a rebound on the power play. You could practically see the weight of the world lifted off of Cole’s shoulders as he celebrated his first goal of the season.
Cole Sillinger breaks the tie with a power play goal!#CBJ pic.twitter.com/PUvmdFpgcj— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) November 13, 2022
1-0 CBJ (Sillinger from Chinakhov and Bean)
Unfortunately, the Isles drew even a few minutes later. After Joonas Korpisalo made a huge save on a shot off the rush, Gavin Bayreuther failed to clear the puck and sent it to Scott Mayfield at the point. Mayfield sent a slap pass to Brock Nelson who was driving the net. Jack Roslovic was covering Nelson, but failed to tie up his stick and he was able to deflect the puck past a helpless Korpisalo.
1-1 (Nelson from Mayfield and Aho)
Surprisingly, the Blue Jackets had a few good response shifts after the Islander goal but were unable to beat Sorokin. That is until Emil Bemstrom was sprung in on a breakaway and pulled out an absolutely filthy backhander that beat the Isles’ goalie top shelf. It was a nasty finish from Bemstrom, but credit Jake Bean for the initial breakout pass, and Gus Nyquist for the crafty touch pass that fed Bemstrom.
Backhand Bemstrom. pic.twitter.com/gPd1RHTdr4— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 13, 2022
2-1 CBJ (Bemstrom from Nyquist and Bean)
Shortly after the Jackets’ goal, the Isles had a chance to tie things up on the power play when Liam Foudy was penalized for a hook. New York controlled the puck in the zone for the entire two minutes, never allowing the Jackets penalty killers a line change. Even with Gus Nyquist stickless for almost half of the kill, they somehow hung on and kept their lead intact.
New York kept pushing as the second period wound down and found the equalizer in the final minute. The Islanders were dominating possession and the Jackets were caught puck watching when Brock Nelson found a juicy rebound all alone on the weak side and beat a lunging Korpisalo. Both Islander goals, Korpisalo had absolutely no chance on.
2-2 (Nelson from Aho and Beauvillier)
The Blue Jackets barely survived the final 45 seconds of the period, and headed into the locker room completely gassed after spending the last five or so minutes of the second period defending in their own zone.
New York came out of the locker room and picked up where they left off, and immediately began putting more pressure on the Jackets defense. So much so, Jake Bean tossed the puck over the glass due to the pressure of the Islanders’ forecheck. New York had an early chance to take the lead on the power play. Once again, the Isles’ hemmed the Jackets in their own end for nearly the entire two minutes, but couldn’t cash in.
Although the teams were at even strength, you wouldn’t know by watching. New York just had a different gear that Columbus was just unable to match in the opening minutes. The Jackets were playing with fire and it appeared it would come back to haunt them at any point.
Columbus was given a golden opportunity about 8 minutes into the period when Patrik Laine drew a penalty to give the Jackets their second power play of the night. It was a dreadful power play for the Blue Jackets, nearly giving up a shorthanded goal.
However, moments after the power play ended, Emil Bemstrom threw a backhander across the crease that found its way out to the point and in his NHL debut, Marcus Bjork stepped into a slapshot that beat Sorokin to give the Jackets the lead!
this goal was pretty swede pic.twitter.com/KCUzQx8PWr— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) November 13, 2022
3-2 CBJ (Bjork from Bemstrom and Nyquist)
The final test was to come for the Jackets. Could they hold a late lead against one of the best third period.
Spoiler alert: they couldn’t.
The Jackets fourth line was scored on during a scrambly shift in their own end not long after the Bjork goal. Scott Mayfield skated the puck across the crease and tossed a backhander against the grain that beat Korpisalo glove side.
3-3 (Mayfield from Barzal and Wahlstrom)
It appeared as if the Blue Jackets were simply trying to get to overtime in the last five minutes of the period as the Islanders continued to dominate offensive zone time. The Jackets survived the remaining time in the period, secured the point, and were off to overtime.
Boone Jenner won the opening draw and the Jackets entered the zone in possession of the puck with three forwards on the ice and no defenseman. It quickly came back to haunt the Jackets as they managed absolutely nothing in the offensive zone, and immediately gave up an odd-man rush with only Boone Jenner back playing defense. Patrik Laine’s half-assed back check on 48-year-old* Zach Parise was insufficient and he received a pass and fired the puck into an empty cage. Laine even committed a penalty on the play and didn’t even manage to disrupt the play. Yuck.
*Parise is only 38, but I was making a point
Final 4-3 Islanders (Parise from Pageau and Pelech)
John Tortorella and the Philadelphia Flyers come back to town looking for some redemption on Tuesday night at Nationwide.