The Jackets lost in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings by a final score of 4-3. It was a very “Blue Jackets type” game. This game had a bit of everything we’ve come to expect of this team. There were stretches of play where they looked completely overmatched, followed by moments when they looked dominant — 46 seconds in the second period to be exact. But ultimately, it was the bad things we’ve seen too often that sank the Jackets tonight: blowing a lead late, and losing a goal to an offsides video review.
Here’s how it went down.
The Jackets nearly dug themselves a hole early allowing a goal less than two minutes in. Boone Jenner made a very strong play on Anze Kopitar to tie up his stick before he could sweep a loose puck into an empty net. Los Angeles was using their speed early to keep the Jackets on their heels and under pressure. The Kings generated the first five shots of the game, including some premium chances where Elvis Merzlikins was forced to make a big save.
Andrew Peeke went off for a high-sticking penalty around the seven minute mark, giving Los Angeles a chance to take advantage of the momentum that was already on their side. The Jackets managed to keep the Kings to the outside and only allowed two shots, although one of them near the end of the power play was a great scoring chance on which Elvis made yet another great save.
After the kill, the Jackets managed to find their footing and evened out the ice a bit, so it wasn’t as tilted in the Kings’ favor although they still looked like the better team. It wasn’t the Jackets’ best period, and they were fortunate to end the first scoreless. They had Elvis Merzlikins to thank for that.
The middle frame started eerily similar to the first with the Kings controlling the pace of play, again generating the first five shots of the period. Los Angeles’ defensive structure was giving the Jackets fits. They struggled to just get through neutral ice, let alone create any sustained pressure in the offensive zone.
The Blue Jackets started to wake up and quickly began putting together some strong shifts including multiple quality scoring chances. Jonathan Quick was finally forced to make some big saves for his club.
The Kings struck first, scoring off a faceoff win. Viktor Arvidsson beat Elvis top shelf over his glove hand with a laser, that Elvis may not have seen with Philip Danault screening him in front.
1-0 Kings (Arvidsson from Moore)
A few minutes after the Kings’ goal, the Jackets had their answer. The team responded with a few strong shifts, and under pressure, Kings’ defenseman Mikey Anderson threw a blind backhand pass from behind the net that ended up on the hottest player in the NHL’s stick, and he wasted no time firing it textbook top cheddar to tie the game at one.
1-1 (Laine unassisted)
Just 25 seconds later, Oliver BJORKSTRAND gave the Blue Jackets their first lead of the night when he one-timed a gorgeous pass from Kuraly into a gaping net.
2-1 Jackets (BJORKSTRAND from Kuraly)
But wait, there’s more! Off the ensuing faceoff, the Jackets kept the pressure on Los Angeles, hemming the Kings in their own end. Max Domi sauced a pass from behind the net, across the crease to Justin Danforth. After a couple of whacks, Danforth was able to pop the puck into the back of the net past a sprawled out Quick.
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3-1 Jackets (Danforth from Domi and Kuraly)
The three goals in 46 seconds set a new Blue Jackets’ franchise record.
The Kings nearly cut the deficit when Viktor Arvidsson just missed scoring his second goal of the period, ringing a shot off the cross-bar. Max Domi carried the puck out of danger and into the Kings’ zone, drawing a penalty in the meantime. Drew Doughty was sent off for tripping, putting the Jackets on the power play in the last minute of the period.
The Blue Jackets were unable to score in their abbreviated man advantage to close the period, but were set to begin the third period with over a minute and a half of power play time.
The final twenty minutes saw the remaining time of the power play expire. The Kings cut the lead to a goal four minutes into the period. Gavin Bayreuther failed to clear a puck from the defensive zone, and Dustin Brown flung a shot towards the net that went off of Elvis’ glove and into the net. It was a bad play all around by both defenseman and goaltender.
3-2 Jackets (Brown unassisted)
The push was on for L.A., as the Jackets appeared to be trying to just hang on and weather the storm. Viktor Arvidsson hit yet another post, missing the tying goal by mere inches.
Moments laterJack Roslovic took a heavy hit into the boards from Dustin Brown and was slow to get up, while in the meantime, Oliver BJORKSTRAND created a turnover at the blue line and was in alone on a breakaway. Quick made the big save to keep his team down just a goal. Would like to see Bjorky rip that shot instead of the soft backhander.
The Kings found the equalizer with 3:46 remaining. None other than Viktor Arvidsson was the goal scorer. Anze Kopitar entered the zone with the puck, dropping it to Arvidsson, who had time to walk in and snap a wrister past Elvis. Arvidsson could have had four or five goals tonight.
3-3 (Arvidsson from Kopitar and Doughty)
The Jackets survived the remaining minutes, picked up a point, and headed off to overtime.
The Kings won the opening draw, and the teams traded possession a few times before the Jackets entered the zone with control. It appeared the CBJ won the game when Boone Jenner beat Quick with a gorgeous turnaround backhander, but unfortunately Zach Werenski was offside entering the zone. It is unreal at this point. Seems like the Jackets are on the wrong side of every replay.
The teams played on.
Boone Jenner had another chance to win the game when he was on a two-on-one in the Kings’ zone. The Kings defenseman opted to take away the pass forcing Jenner to shoot, yet for some reason he still tried to pass it. The pass was broken up and Viktor Arvidsson was in alone on a breakaway. He waited out Elvis, scoring on a backhander and completing the hat trick.
Final 4-3 Kings (Arvidsson from Danault)
The Blue Jackets are back at it tomorrow night at Nationwide Arena against the Boston Bruins. I heard there is some sort of pre-game ceremony or something happening. Make sure to get there early to catch all of the festivities.