Blue Jackets allow six unanswered goals to Canadiens in blowout loss
Jackets get back in the loss column where they belong
After an entertaining first period for the Blue Jackets, the wheels came off in the second period en route to an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. The tired legs in the back-end of a back-to-back caught up to them as they allowed a second period hat trick to Raphael Harvey-Pinard. It puts the Jackets back into the loss column after their brief two-game winning streak. In his first game back from his leave of absence, Elvis Merzlikins left in the second period due to injury. Hopefully it’s not too serious and Elvis can finish out the season, but it didn’t look promising.
Nobody was particularly good tonight, but the Andrew Peeke-Gavin Bayreuther pairing was brutal tonight.
#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Columbus Blue Jackets on 2023-03-25:#CBJ pic.twitter.com/kgRZ0itQf8— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) March 26, 2023
Here’s how it went down...
It only took a minute and half for the Blue Jackets’ offense to pick up where they left off last night. A turnover in the Montreal zone ended up on Jack Roslovic’s stick, who found Kent Johnson. Johnson faked shot and slid a backhand pass to Lane Pederson who just had to put the puck into the empty cage. Johnson got the play started by breaking up the breakout pass, and set up Pederson for the finish. The future is so bright for this kid.
Lane got the scoring started for us tonight 🔥 pic.twitter.com/JllKWahfo0— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 25, 2023
1-0 CBJ (Pederson from Johnson and Roslovic)
Once again it took just another minute and a half for another goal to be scored, this time for the Canadiens. Mike Matheson carried the puck into the offensive zone and dropped a pass to Mike Hoffman. Matheson drove the net after giving up the puck, and pretty much bullied Nick Blankenberg and drove him to the net as well, giving Matheson way too much time and space to walk in and rip a shot past Elvis.
1-1 (Hoffman from Matheson and Suzuki)
Right around the halfway point of the period Montreal took the lead. A rough shift by Andrew Peeke (was a theme tonight) led directly to the goal. In the offensive zone, he shot a puck directly into a defender, leading to an odd-man rush for Montreal. Jesse Ylonen carried the puck in the zone, and slammed on the brakes. Peeke was slow to react and skated past him allowing Ylonen a shot lane, who made no mistake putting a shot past Merzlikins.
2-1 MTL (Ylonen from Gallagher and Edmunson)
With exactly two minutes to go in the period, Kirill Marchenko scored his 19th goal of the year scoring on an impossible angle along the red line after a strong shift in the offensive zone. The net was coming off the moorings and the goal was initially waved off, but after review, Marchenko was rightly given his goal. He is now one off the franchise record for goals by a rookie. I would love for him to erase the record set by PLD.
Marchy with the equalizer‼️ pic.twitter.com/922KTfab2R— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) March 26, 2023
2-2 (Marchenko from Peeke and Bayreuther)
The Jackets had energy out of the gate tonight, and didn’t look like they were on the latter half of a back-to-back...yet. They looked like the more dangerous team for much of the period, outshooting the Canadiens 10-8 along the way.
Before I could even sit back down for the start of the second period, Montreal scored and it was all downhill from there. Somehow Andrew Peeke got burned by Mike Matheson, who put a puck on net allowing Raphael Harvey-Pinard to crash the net and bang home the rebound behind Elvis as Peeke slid into the net trying to play goaltender.
3-2 MTL (Harvey-Pinard from Matheson and Suzuki)
David Savard was called for a delay of game penalty shortly after the goal, giving the Jackets a chance to get back even. The Jackets failed to enter the zone a few times and then committed a penalty breaking up an odd-man rush negating their man-advantage.
Neither team was able to generate much with their special teams units, and five-on-five play resumed.
Just over seven minutes into the period, Montreal doubled up their lead Harvey-Pinard finished off a nice passing sequence that had Andrew Peeke all turned around once again. Nick Suzuki started off the sequence for his third assist of the night.
4-2 MTL (Harvey-Pinard from Hoffman and Suzuki)
It was all Montreal at this point, and the Jackets were struggling to keep up with the pressure. The Canadiens hit two goalposts in a span of a couple minutes, keeping the Jackets within striking distance for the time being.
The “time being” wasn’t long as Brendan Gallagher slammed a puck through the wickets of Merzlikins in close after an extended shift in the offensive zone.
5-2 MTL (Gallagher from Evans and Ylonen)
Things just kept getting worse for the Jackets as they put Montreal back on the power play with about five minutes left in the period. They were already being outscored 3-0 in the period and outshot 13-3 at that point.
Raphael Harvey-Pinard finished off his hat trick, tapping home a beautiful slap pass across the crease from Mike Hoffman. Merzlikins was slow to get up, and would exit the game shortly after.
6-2 MTL (Harvey-Pinard from Hoffman and Matheson)
The refs must have felt some pity and gave the Jackets a power play moments later. The Jackets managed some shots, but none were really much of a threat to get behind Montembault.
The wheels fell off in the second period, and it looked like the back-to-back caught up with them. Thankfully there was only one more period to endure.
Mercifully for the Blue Jackets (and us fans), the first ten minutes of the final frame flew by. Not many stoppages at all and a lot of neutral zone play kept the clock running.
About 12 minutes in, the Canadiens added the extra point to their touchdown when Chris Tierney appeared to finish an odd-man rush that once again had Andrew Peeke looking completely lost. Upon a second look, it was actually Andrew Peeke who put the puck into his own net trying to break up the cross-crease pass.
7-2 (Belzile unassisted)
Nick Suzuki added to his three assist game shortly after on the very next shift for the Peeke-Bayreuther pairing putting them at a -4 on the night. He skated the puck in the zone, and had Bayreither backing up and providing a perfect screen on his shot that beat Hutchinson.
8-2 MTL (Suzuki from Kovacevik and Harris)
Each team had a power play chance in the dying minutes, but nothing came of them and the Montreal Canadiens salted away the remaining time in their six goal win.
Sadly, the Sharks also lost today, so no ground was made up in the race to the bottom of the league standings.
The Blue Jackets are headed to Broadway on Tuesday to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.