The Blue Jackets looked quite a bit different than the team that rolled over the Jets on Friday night, losing a Sunday night matchup against the Red Wings 4-2. The Jackets managed to get within a goal early in the third period, but a quick response goal by Detroit killed the momentum and any hopes the Jackets had to pull this one out. They were outplayed for large stretches of the game, taking poor penalties and having a hard time generating much of anything at all. Regardless what they look like, I’m thinking the Jackets’ reverse retro jerseys are cursed.
One bright spot was seeing Kent Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau skating together on a line and immediately scoring a big goal. Who knows if Brad Larsen will keep them together, but at least it’s exciting to watch those two together on the ice.
Here’s how it went down tonight.
It was Detroit that struck first tonight — to the delight of the NUMEROUS fans in red sweaters — re-directing a puck past Korpisalo who was moving the other direction. It was a goal that should have never happened as Erik Gudbranson came up with the puck in the defensive zone just moments before with a chance to clear, but he flipped a lazy lob that was easily knocked down and kept in the zone. Jonatan Berggren, then deked Gudbranson, and found Austin Czarnik driving the net. Jake Christiansen failed to tie up his stick, and the puck wound up in the back of the net.
1-0 DET (Czarnik from Berggren and Maata)
To their credit, the Jackets had a few nice response shifts, but were unable to cash in. Patrik Laine decided to pass on an odd-man rush, most likely drawing a groan from those watching, and it was easily broken up by the defending Red Wing. They had another golden opportunity with about five minutes remaining when Jack Roslovic attempted to find Kent Johnson crashing the net. It was a great pass from Jack, but it went just under Johnson’s outstretched stick and went harmlessly into the corner.
With just under three minutes remaining, Cole Sillinger was called for hooking while attempting to defend a Detroit odd-man rush. Detroit quickly capitalized, scoring on a one-timer from Dominik Kubalik that Korpisalo had no chance on.
2-0 DET (Kubalik from Hronek and Perron)
On the ensuing face off, Michael Rassmussen somehow got behind the defense forcing Marcus Bjork to commit a hooking penalty to prevent a chance in close, putting Detroit right back on the power play.
The Blue Jackets (barely) survived the penalty kill to escape the period only down a pair of goals. It was an ugly period for the Jackets, especially when you consider their opponent is on the back end of a back-to-back. There was no excuse for them to be out hustled and to play with less energy than Detroit.
To make things more difficult for the Blue Jackets, Vladislav Gavrikov took a puck in the mouth and left the bench putting, the already thin defensive corps down one of their top minute munchers.
Five minutes into the period Gavin Bayreuther was called for a holding penalty. Less than a minute into the kill, Jack Roslovic was called for a penalty of his own when he tripped Dylan Larkin in the neutral zone. Detroit had over a minute of 5-on-3 hockey. It would either be a turning point for the Blue Jackets or a dagger that would put the game out of reach.
It turned out to be the latter. Lucas Raymond slammed home a pass with ten seconds left in the two-man advantage.
3-0 DET (Raymond from Hronek and Perron)
Columbus had a chance to make it a game again on a 3-on-1 with their top line. Once again, Patrik Laine decided to make an extra pass that was easily broken up killing the scoring chance. It was looking like another one of those nights where nothing goes right and everything is difficult for the Jackets.
With about five minutes remaining the Blue Jackets were granted their first power play opportunity of the night. Even though it was still just the second period, it definitely had a “now or never” feel for the Jackets. It felt like they needed to score here to have a chance of making a comeback in this game.
The urgency was felt by the Jackets and Marcus BJORK cashed in on a shot from the point that beat Ville Husso as Jenner took away his eyes skating across the crease.
3-1 DET (Bjork from Jenner and Roslovic)
Moments later Johnny Gaudreau rang a shot off the crossbar, just missing sending the crowd into a frenzy.
With under two minutes left in the frame, the Jackets got another chance on the power play thanks to their new found energy, but were unable to cash in before the horn blew to end the second period. They would carry over 18 seconds of power play time into the third.
It took over half the game, but the Jackets finally began showing signs of life. They had twenty minutes left to keep up the energy and draw even.
The Jackets opened the third period to some good news, with Vladislav Gavrikov returning to the bench with a jaw guard strapped to his helmet.
The energy was still there in the opening minutes of the period, and it was on full display when Johnny Gaudreau skated around the entire offensive zone before finding Kent Johnson in front to bang it home.
3-2 DET (Johnson from Gaudreau and Jenner)
Just about a minute later it looked like the Wings reclaimed their two goal lead with Dylan Larkin beating Korpisalo off the rush. But a quick review on an offsides challenge took the goal off the board sparing Korpisalo an ugly goal against. The puck doesn’t lie however, as shortly after, Andrew Copp scored a bad angle goal from behind the goal line, banking the puck in off of Korpisalo’s shoulder to officially give the Wings another two goal lead.
4-2 DET (Copp from Maata and Sundqvist)
All of the energy and pressure the Jackets were applying seemed to disappear after the Red Wing goal. Once again, the Jackets were having trouble getting through the neutral zone, let alone maintaining any zone time to create chances. With time winding down in the third, the Red Wings were all too content to just clog up lanes and make the Jackets fetch the puck and keep attempting to get through the neutral zone.
With under five minutes to go, Yegor Chinakhov all but killed any chances of a comeback when he took an ill-timed penalty. Even if the Jackets killed the penalty, the Wings were all too happy to keep running the clock.
The Jackets killed the penalty and immediately pulled their goalie. Johnny Gaudreau “drew” a power play to give the Jackets a faint glimmer of hope with 1:48 remaining. The Jackets had a couple good looks, but Husso made some strong saves. Not that it would have mattered anyways.
Final 4-2 Detroit
The Jackets head out on the road on Tuesday to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Jackets have much success against that team, so there is a lot to look forward to. /s/