The Columbus Blue Jackets hit the ice on the second night of a back to back as they visited the Anaheim Ducks on Easter Sunday. After their loss to the Los Angeles Kings, the team announced two line up changes - Patrik Laine would miss the game with an upper body injury, and Elvis Merzlikins finally earned a night off.
#CBJ lines in warmups with Laine out (upper body, day to day).— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) April 18, 2022
Brendan Gaunce entered the lineup in favor of Laine. Here’s what happened.
The game started terribly for Columbus - just three minutes in, Zach Werenski went down the tunnel with an upper body injury after initiating a hit. After a bad turnover, Troy Terry gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead.
Anaheim goal (0-1): Terry from Getzlaf, 3:17
Ryan Getzlaf @troyterry1997 pic.twitter.com/cMFzjYQS1H— NHL (@NHL) April 18, 2022
Jackets still without Werenski, who went off to the room about three minutes into the game after colliding with Sam Carrick along the RW wall in the OZ.— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) April 18, 2022
Appeared to be another face/head issue after Werenski initiated contact.#CBJ
Columbus responded quickly, however, as Jake Bean arrived late on a rush and was able to beat the Anaheim netminder for the opening Columbus goal.
Columbus goal (1-1): Bean from Roslovic and Gavrikov, 4:07
Bean on the scene pic.twitter.com/FzC8uUv9PU— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 18, 2022
With just shy of six minutes played, the Ducks reclaimed their lead as Troy Terry took advantage of a rebound opportunity to stuff a shot through JF Berube.
Anaheim goal (1-2): Terry from Shattenkirk and Fowler, 5:43
Terry had a golden chance for his hat trick, but fired just over the crossbar, but it did not take the Ducks long to find their third. With 7:42 gone, Gerry Mayhew was gifted an open cage and tipped it in past Berube.
Anaheim goal (1-3): Mayhew from Zegras and Grant, 7:42
The Jackets failed on the games first power play, while Terry missed two golden chances for his first period hat trick goal. With 3:30 to go in the first, the Ducks hit the post after Berube caught a piece of a shot - a necessary save to keep it a 3-1 game late. The Jackets had a few chances, but trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes (shots favored Columbus 12-9).
Just 1:34 into the second period, Jake Bean capitalized with his second of the night. Adam Boqvist found Jake Bean who ripped a shot that beat Gibson (who was screened by Kent Johnson). Columbus had life.
Columbus goal (2-3): Bean from Boqvist, 1:34
When you're down, lean on Bean! #CBJ pic.twitter.com/t6XtPfVvmt— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) April 18, 2022
Terry hit the post looking for his hat trick and was unable to capitalize just over five minutes into the second period. With 9:08 to go in the second period, Sean Kuraly found the back of the net to tie the game. A turnover forced by Justin Danforth led to a two on one and Kuraly capitalized.
Columbus goal (3-3): Kuraly from Robinson and Danforth, 10:52
The @BlueJacketsNHL have Kuraly'd back to tie this game! #CBJ pic.twitter.com/gR3Ng9fTxK— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) April 18, 2022
With 1:38 to go in the second, the Ducks earned their first power play of the night as Gaunce went off for hooking. After 40 minutes, the Jackets remained tied 3-3 and facing 22 seconds of penalty time.
It took the Ducks just 63 seconds to score and reclaim their lead for the third time on the night. Jakub Voracek was unable to corral a pass and a cross-ice feed led to the 21st goal of the season for Trevor Zegras following an odd-man rush.
Anaheim goal (3-4): Zegras from Grant and Mayhew, 1:03
At 3:28 of the third, Cam Fowler restored the Ducks’ two goal lead. A floater through traffic beat Berube, who never saw the puck, and the Ducks took a 5-3 lead. The area was screened and took a deflection, but the goal counted.
Anaheim goal (3-5): Fowler from Getzlaf and Terry, 3:28
The Jackets came back with an offensive push following the two Anaheim goals, but could not find a goal.
With 12:38 to go, a loose puck situation in front of the net led to Cole Sillinger banging away at the rebounds and he eventually put it past Gibson. Sillinger got credit as he beat Gibson for his 14th of the year.
Columbus goal (4-5): Sillinger from Voracek and Nyquist, 7:22
The teams continued to trade chances, but the Jackets could not find a third equalizer as we entered the final stages of the third period. With 4:45 to go, Andrew Peeke blocked a shot that left him in some difficulty but he stayed on the ice to complete his shift. Seconds later, Kent Johnson had a chance for his first goal but could not beat John Gibson from a sharp angle look - unfortunate for the rookie. His game looks fine, the points will come.
With 1:51 to go, the Jackets pulled Berube for the extra attacker. With 55 seconds to go, Derek Grant scored an empty netter, and that’d be all she wrote.
Columbus Blue Jackets 4 Anaheim Ducks 6
Hope Zach Werenski is okay. He did not return to the game after his upper body injury. Fingers crossed he can return healthy for training camp next season - no need to rush him back for five meaningless games, just shut him down.
Here’s the end of Zach Werenski’s last shift. He got tied up with Sam Carrick and you can clearly see him laboring after. #CBJ pic.twitter.com/q68kLBMEJ1— Mark Scheig (@markscheig) April 18, 2022
Voracek's 50 assists are also the fourth most in a single season in #CBJ history.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) April 18, 2022
Despite an awful first ten minutes, JF Berube made some big saves to keep Columbus in the game down the stretch. Nice bounce back after a rough start.
I have no further final thoughts. The team’s playing out the string, and losses are better for the draft lottery at this point. The Blue Jackets need to shore up their defensive efforts and find consistency in the own end, but there’s an offseason to work on those things.
The Columbus Blue Jackets finish their California road trip as they face off with the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Faceoff is scheduled for 10:30 PM EDT.