The Buffalo Sabres visited the Columbus Blue Jackets for more preseason action. The rosters were not evenly matched as significantly more talent and experience gave the Jackets the advantage. The result matched that advantage.
The Blue Jackets struck first after a great series of plays by the first pair and first line. Roslovic won a faceoff in the defensive zone and the unit was able to make a clean zone exit. They cycled the puck in the Sabres’ zone and Peeke found Svozil off the point. Svozil made a quick pass cross ice to Bemstrom, who buried the shot. Great play all around from start to finish.
CBJ Goal 1-0: Bemstrom (Svozil, Peeke)
BEMMER IS HIM!!! pic.twitter.com/SW3tHrV98G— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 28, 2022
A power play a few minutes later would lead to another goal. After the first unit struggled to get much going, the second unit would come through. Pyyhtia did a great job of creating space after picking up a loose puck. He skated to the blue line and found Marchenko at the left circle. Marchenko gathered the puck and ripped a wrister far corner for the goal.
CBJ PP Goal 2-0: Marchenko (Pyyhtia, Luoto)
The Sabres got on the board after winning a faceoff against Johnson. A quick cycle below the net to the slot saw a shot get by Tarasov far side.
BUF Goal 2-1: Priskie (Quinn, Clague)
After the Buffalo goal in the second period, the game was pretty slow until halfway through the third. Voracek came off the bench and immediately found a stretch pass from Fix-Wolansky for a breakaway. The veteran winger did not miss, tallying his second goal of the preseason.
CBJ Goal 3-1: Voracek (Fix-Wolansky, Roslovic)
Trey ➡️ Voracek ➡️ GOAL.— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 29, 2022
poetry. in. motion. pic.twitter.com/7wISK9xJl7
It felt all night like Meyer would end up scoring and he eventually did so in dramatic fashion. On the penalty kill, he managed to get behind the Buffalo attackers and put home a Richards’ pass for the shorthanded goal.
CBJ SH Goal 4-1: Meyer (Richards, Gavrikov)
hometown discount for Mr. Meyer pic.twitter.com/x8zcH0iAX3— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) September 29, 2022
Andrew Peeke — The newest contract extension owner in Columbus has had a good preseason so far. He had an assist on the first goal, but what stood out was his quick passes in the d-zone and his improved quickness. He looks like a man working on improving his game. For a guy that was maybe playing over his head last season, tonight he looked like an NHL defenseman against the lesser talent.
Kent Johnson — KJ continues to drip skill. At one point, he performed a nasty toe drag on a zone entry. He did so immediately upon receiving a pass too — not an easy feat. He’s slippery, makes creative and accurate passes, and seems to always be around the puck. I’ve seen enough — he deserves to be in the opening night lineup.
Kirill Marchenko — He’s not always around the puck like Johnson is, but you can tell he has professional experience. Aside from the NHL veterans in the game, he looked a step above everyone else. His goal was an NHL level shot.
Stanislav Svozil — The Czech defenseman gets a mention here because he’s not seen as being at the same talent level as Jiricek and Mateychuk, but yet he was able to look the part in this game. He is a very good passer, as proven by his assist on the first goal of the night, and created several other scoring chances aside from that assist. He skates well and looked comfortable defending.
Carson Meyer — The Powell, OH native was all over the ice. He was a pest on the forecheck, was physical, and scored a shorthanded goal. It’s an uphill battle for him to make the team, but he’s making the most of it so far.
Both goalies looked good despite neither seeing a ton of shots. Tarasov let in one goal that he may have overplayed, but it was a good shot nonetheless. Greaves continued his impressive summer/preseason by not letting a shot get by him.
I’m becoming more and more impressed with Mateychuk. His offensive skill is evident, but he’s also a good defender. At one point, he made a great play to clear the crease and breakup and good scoring chance by the Sabres. Jiricek looked a lot more comfortable and made quite a few good defensive plays with his stick. Overall it was a really good night for young Columbus defensemen.
There was a lot to like in this game. NHL players looked how you’d expect them to look, bubble guys contributed and played hard, and young prospects showed talent and promise.
The Blue Jackets head to St. Louis for another preseason game Thursday night at 8pm ET.