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Blue Jackets come out flat, can’t recover against Red Wings

The undefeated Columbus Blue Jackets traveled to Motor City to take on the Detroit Red Wings. After a blowout on opening night and a come from behind win on Saturday, the Jackets were looking to continue their early success. Joonas Korpisalo made his season debut and Yegor Chinakhov made his NHL debut. Unfortunately for the Jackets, the presence of Chinakhov meant the absence of Max Domi, who will miss two to four weeks with a fractured rib. Here’s how it went down.

1st Period

The Red Wings got off to a quick start and the Blue Jackets looked to be fighting it early. Through five minutes, Detroit had a six to nothing shot advantage.  It didn’t get better very quickly. Lots of turnovers and no offensive zone time were doing the good guys no favors. Columbus did not get its first shot attempt until 8:56 into the game.

The first power play of the night went to the Red Wings when Patrik Laine went off for slashing. The white sweaters did a great job of disrupting the man advantage and were able to kill it off. Eric Robinson continued his quality play and nearly had a breakaway on the kill.

Columbus’ best even strength chance of the period came on a two on one breakaway with Yegor Chinakhov getting a wide open shot on Thomas Greiss. Unfortunately, the youngster was not able to elevate the puck above the pad of the Red Wing goalie.

The Blue Jackets got their first power play since opening night after a Red Wings’ crosscheck. The first unit had trouble getting set up in the zone, but the second unit had a little more success. The puck movement was good, but Greiss never really got tested.

The period ended tied at nothing. Though the Blue Jackets got steamrolled early, they recovered a bit in the last third of the period. The Red Wings won the shot battle 13-8, but the Jackets managed to even up the scoring chances battle 8-8 in all situations.

This Brian Hedger tweet summed up how most of the period went:

Highlight: Korpisalo had a very good first period of his 2021-2022 campaign. He stopped all twelve Red Wing shots despite having an expected goals against of 1.05.

2nd Period

Korpisalo continued to be fantastic to start the second. Four minutes in, the Red Wings already had nine shots on goal. At one point, Detroit spent over two minutes, line change and all, inside the Blue Jackets zone. The Jackets did manage to get some zone time of their own and Werenski rang one off the cross bar, but they game remained scoreless.

The Jackets got their second power play of the night on a delay of game penalty. The first unit looked a lot better this time. Voracek managed a solid zone entry and Laine got off one of his slappers. The unit moved into a two below the goal line formation and immediately learned why you don’t do that. The Red Wings stole a two on one opportunity, but Korpi stood strong.

The struggle continued. Sillinger went to the box for high sticking and 26 seconds later Kuraly went for tripping. Detroit saw a full 1:34 of 5-on-3 hockey, but the Jackets were able to miraculously kill it off.

The Blue Jackets were lucky to get out of this period still tied at zero. To say Detroit dominated the period would be an understatement. They outshot Columbus 18-5 and spent many long shifts on offense.

Lowlight: Through two periods, Scott Harrington had a CF% of 13. While he was on the ice at even strength, the Jackets saw six scoring chances against and zero for.

3rd Period

The Jackets got off to a better start in the third period, but Scott Harrington continued his very bad night when he picked up a tripping penalty two minutes in. Fortunately, the penalty kill once again bailed out the occupier of the sin bin.

The Red Wings finally did the inevitable at 6:17. Raymond skated in with speed and ripped a laser past Korpi’s glove to make it 1-0. Harrington got burned at the blue line, even though he initially had position on Larkin, and then provided Raymond a goalie screen.

Not long after, Detroit would make it 2-0. Harrington had not one, not two, but three chances to prevent the goal on this play. First, he would get caught deep in the offense zone and fail to hold onto the puck. Second, he made a poor pinch and equally bad stick check attempt on Raymond. Third, he failed to prevent Larkin from getting the pass over to Bertuzzi, who then beat Korpisalo.

Columbus drew another penalty when Namestnikov roughed Bjorkstrand, but again was unable to muster much of a chance on their third power play of the night.

At 12:00, Roslovic took a run at Raymond along the boards. The Red Wing forward appeared shaken up and Bertuzzi and Larkin immediately went after Roslovic. The end result would be the fourth Columbus power play of the night.

Fourth time is a charm. Puck movement led to Voracek finding Jenner all alone in front of the net. The captain made a patient play and sent a backhander past Greiss. Laine picked up the secondary assist. The 2-1 goal with 7:09 left put the Jackets right back in the game.

The Blue Jackets would not be able to tie it up, though. Bjorkstrand nearly scored on a wraparound with Korpi pulled, but the Red Wings would ice it with an empty netter. They would score another empty netter and win 4-1.

Best Line

Chinakhov – Roslovic – Bjorkstrand

The rookie was one of the better forwards tonight and Roslovic was the only other that consistently stood out in a positive manner. This line was positive across all possession stats – only losing the high danger chances battle 3-2.

Worst Line

Nyquist – Sillinger – Texier

This line got caved in. They had a CF% of 14 and gave up 6 scoring chances while recording none for themselves.

Final Thoughts

Burn the tapes on this one. Detroit has a lot of speed and the Jackets had a hard time keeping up. They spent long periods of time in their own end and had trouble getting through the neutral zone. Both Detroit goals were scored with Scott Harrington directly defending the play. At this point, he needs to be waived and sent to Cleveland. In my opinion, he played poorly enough for this to be his last game as a Blue Jacket.

Korpisalo was fantastic and kept them in the game as long as he could. He saved 41 of 43 shots and saved 2.09 goals over expected in all situations.

Up Next

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Islanders at Nationwide Arena, Oct. 21, 7:00 PM