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Game 42 Recap: Blue Jackets blast off season’s second half with Laine hat trick, then survive third period scare, win 4-3

Three first period goals in 2:43 fuels CBJ, then three third period goals against almost doom them.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Well. This is it. Your Columbus Blue Jackets are the worst team in the National Hockey League. Playing the Red Wings, five points out of the Wild Card with everything to play for.

Thing is, the CBJ didn’t get the memo. Here’s how it went down.

First Period

So... uh... yeah.

I don’t really know what happened here, but the Blue Jackets came out tonight like their hair was on fire. They quickly got up 5-2 in shots, borderline dominated the Red Wings, and after killing a penalty around the midpoint of the frame, starting pouring it on.

First, Patrick Laine did his best Alexander Ovechkin impression, and got inexplicably wide open. Johnny Hockey found him for the easy bomb into the net.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Patrik Laine from Gaudreau and Roslovic - 12:47 1st Period

After a bit of cycling, the unlikely trio of Kent Johnson, Emil Bemstrom, and Vladislav Gavrikov combined for a 3-on-2 chance. The former took the shot, crashed the net, and poked the loose rebound over to the former. 2-0 in 67 seconds.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Vladislav Gavrikov from Johnson and Bemstrom - 13:54 1st Period

Shortly after, Patty got his second goal. Jack Roslovic took a shot off the rush, and the infamously bouncy boards at Joe Louis Arena screwed the Red Wings shot was hard enough to go directly to Laine, who absolutely buried the dang thing.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Patrik Laine (2) from Roslovic and Blankenburg - 15:30 1st Period

Columbus played out the last 4:30 to end easily their best period of the season up 3-0, up in shots, and thoroughly demoralizing Those Wheels Up North.

Second Period

After writing that last sentence, I flipped back to my stream to see that it was already 4-0 Jackets less than two minutes in. And Laine finished the hat trick! Neat!

BLUE JACKETS HAT TRICK GOAL - Patrik Laine (3) from Boqvist and Gaudreau - 1:32 2nd Period

At this point, my stream decided to play like a record on a DJ’s table, so we’ll skip directly to the third period. All I know is that the teams traded successful penalty kills. At one point Husso committed absolute robbery on Jack Roslovic, keeping Laine from his fourth point on the night. From what I could tell, it was a more even period, but the Jackets finished ahead 4-0 with a period to go.

Third Period

So... uh... yeah.

I don’t really know what happened here, but the Blue Jackets came out for the third like their dog got kicked in the balls. They quickly let up 12 in shots against, borderline gifted it to the Red Wings, and after surrendering three goals in middle of the frame, barely survived.

First Mathieu Olivier forgot which team he was on, and pretty much shot the puck directly into the Jackets’ net. Fellow write Dale Bloom summed up the play nicely:

Yes, Elvis had to recollect the puck when he went to play it. But, in my opinion, he did the best he could considering that, and there’s no way that that goal was on him. That being said, a significant portion of the fanbase put the blame at his feet. Which means it’s time for a poll.

Poll

Who’s to blame for the Red Wings’ first goal tonight?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Mathieu Olivier
    (66 votes)
  • 4%
    Elvis Merzlikins
    (3 votes)
69 votes total Vote Now

RED WINGS GOAL - Olli Maata from Kubalik and Larkin - 5:50 3rd Period

78 seconds later, Roslovic’s clearing pass to Laine got picked off by Jake Walman, who was able to waltz into the slot and snipe one past Elvis to make it 4-2.

RED WINGS GOAL - Jake Walman, unassisted - 7:08 3rd Period

Despite continued pressure from the Red Wings, the Jackets were able to keep things vaguely under control for the next bit of the game. However, they were also unable to generate any real opportunities, only recording three shot on goal the entire period. The Red Wings, thanks to another player being able to slide right through the slot, had as many goals.

RED WINGS GOAL - Lucas Raymond from Hronek and Chiarot - 15:56 3rd Period

The Red Wings made a furious final push, but somehow, the Blue Jackets survived.

On one hand, the first two periods were an absolute blast, a fantastic display of the roster this team has. On the other, the third epitomizes the absolute failure of this season. I don’t really know what to think of it. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.