After a few days off, the Columbus Blue Jackets returned to the ice on Saturday night as they played host to the St. Louis Blues. The Jackets came back in 32nd place, 3 points clear of the Chicago Blackhawks and San Jose Sharks, 4 points clear at the bottom of the Anaheim Ducks.
In team news, the Jackets announced the Elvis Merzlikins would be away from the team as he returned to Latvia to be with his ailing grandmother. The team called up Daniil Tarasov on an emergency basis in response. We all wish the best to the Merzlikins family.
Goaltender Elvis Merzlikins will be away from the team temporarily. His grandmother is seriously ill and he has returned to Latvia to be with family. #CBJ https://t.co/uJfrFJ5Q0f— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) March 10, 2023
Michael Hutchinson got the start in net. Here’s what happened.
Former Blue Jacket Brandon Saad broke open the scoring to give the Blues the early lead in Nationwide Arena. The goal was originally credited to Sammy Blais.
Blues goal (0-1): Saad from Blais and Schenn, 7:19
The Jackets struck back minutes later as Patrik Laine scored his 21st of the season, assisted by Johnny Gaudreau. A power play goal is a rarity, enjoy it!
Blue Jackets goal (1-1): Laine from Gaudreau and Blankenburg, 9:14
That's ✋ consecutive games with power-play goals for the Blue Jackets!#CBJ pic.twitter.com/AE5yeA0Z6Z— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) March 12, 2023
Jordan Kyrou reclaimed the lead for the Blues minutes later, scoring on another defensive breakdown.
Blues goal (1-3): Kyrou from Thomas and Blais, 13:38
The Blues, following another breakdown, took a two goal lead as Blais scored his first of the game and notched his third point of the period.
Blues goal (1-3): Blais from Saad and Schenn, 18:07
Nothing of note really happened in the second period, save for this note.
#CBJ Sillinger came oh-so-close to ending his 42-game goal drought, but Greiss' right pad kept it out.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) March 12, 2023
Poor Cole Sillinger. The kid remains cursed, and his goalless steak marches on.
The Jackets absolutely dominated the early part of the frame, out-attempting the Blues 18-2 through the first six minutes.
A royal rumble between the Jackets and St. Louis!#CBJ pic.twitter.com/YkKlBUX9fX— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) March 12, 2023
Hutchinson made several big saves in the third before Jordan Kyrou finally beat him for his second of the game.
Blues goal (1-4): Kyrou from Toropchenko, 12:15
Boone Jenner scored a tip in for his 205) of the year late to give the Jackets life in the dying minutes.
Blue Jackets goal (2-4): Jenner from Johnson and Gaudreau, 15:55
The Captain deflects the puck into the net!#CBJ pic.twitter.com/sAn1fEr2ba— Bally Sports Columbus (@BallySportsCBUS) March 12, 2023
Jordan Kyrou hit his hat trick late with the net empty to finish this one off.
Kyrou empty-net goal with 1:17 left, hat trick, hats from #stlblues fans thrown onto the ice @NationwideArena #CBJ down 5-2— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) March 12, 2023
Blues goal (2-5): Kyrou from Thomas and Buchnevich, 18:43
St. Louis Blues 5 Columbus Blue Jackets 2
shouts to these guys
LMAO— Sour Cream Citizen (@PaleDragonCbus) March 12, 2023
Some fans got on the jumbotron with a "Tank for Bedard" sign and then the camera cut away quickly
Michael Hutchinson might not be the long term answer in net, if we’re being honest.
The Columbus Blue Jackets travel west as they kick off their California road trip on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks. Faceoff is scheduled for 10:30 PM ET.