Jackets routed by Devils
It was not a fun game
I don't think there were many people that thought this game would go well for the Blue Jackets. Whoever did likely felt embarrassed by the end of the night. It was an absolute rout. Here's how it went.
The Blue Jackets came out of the gate a little faster than the Devils did. Through six minutes, they led in both shots on net and shot attempts.
Tatar struck first off the rush. Hischier skated through the neutral zone and dropped the puck to Tatar at the top of the slot. A quick shot got past Hutchinson. However, Larsen challenged for offsides and ultimately won the challenge.
A slashing penalty sent the Jackets to the power play at the halfway point of the period. They were never able to get set up and the Devils scored immediately after the penalty expired. Hughes skated the puck all the way down the ice and beat Hutchinson far side.
NJD Goal 1-0: Hughes (unassisted) 11:35
Wood went to the box for roughing after toppling Boqvist onto Hutchinson during a scrum. During the power play, a nice pass from Bayreuther sprung Dunne for a breakaway and a hook from behind sent Dunne into the goalie, dislodging the net. The play was review to make sure the puck didn't cross the line before the net was dislodged - no goal. There should have been a penalty shot awarded, but the call was missed.
Gaudreau went to the locker room early in the period and did not return. Thankfully, we later found out that it was due to illness and not injury. The Jackets got off to a strong start, but the Devils ended up controlling the 5v5 play for most of the period.
Tatar got back his called off goal back shortly into the second period. He won a battle along the boards, forced himself towards the net, and stuffed it past Hutchinson.
NJD Goal 2-0: Tatar (Hischier, Graves) 1:20
Bjork went off for crosschecking immediately after and the Devils scored quickly. The red sweaters made it look easy, tic-tac-toeing their way to an easy goal.
NJD PP Goal 3-0: Hughes (Meier, Hischier) 2:20
The Jackets received their third power play of the night after a delay of game call. Nothing going for the third time - the Devils killed it off.
First NHL goal alert! 🚨 Kuraly went hard to the net and Vanecek made the initial save. Luoto, trailing behind, was there to clean up the trash for his first NHL goal. The Devils challenged the goal for goalie interference, but the correct call was made.
CBJ Goal 3-1: Luoto (Kuraly, Robinson) 11:33
The Jackets flubbed their fourth power play attempt of the night after the failed coach's challenge.
The Devil's power play struck again after Bjork went to the box for the second time. More tic-tac-toe passing led to another easy goal.
NJD PP Goal 4-1: Meier (Hughes, Bratt) 16:16
I found myself watching the Devils more than the Blue Jackets in the second period. Their skill and speed create exciting hockey. Columbus' AHL lineup was providing a near zero level of entertainment.
Haula made it 5-1 early in the period. A good pass, a screen, and a quick shot. Textbook. Gillies came in to relieve Hutchinson after the goal.
NJD Goal 5-1: Haula (Marino, Boqvist) 2:07
Meier got his 2nd of the night and 40th of the season a few minutes later. Meier passed the puck to Marino, Meier skated to the slot, Marino passed it back, Meier scored. Easy.
NJD Goal 6-1: Meier (Marino, Hughes) 4:39
The Blue Jackets went back to the power play, but the Devils continued scoring anyway. This time it was Severson shorthanded.
NJD SH Goal 7-1: Severson (Haula) 6:36
Gillies made a nice cross-crease save on an odd-man rush to keep it a six goal game.
It wouldn't last, however. Graves would score a few minutes later.
NJD Goal 8-1: Graves (McLeod, Marino) 9:27
The Devils won the classless move of the year award as they ganged up on Sweezey and Marchenko in a corner scrum and started throwing punches. Congratulations.
Mercifully, the final buzzer sounded.
Ever wonder what it looks like when an AHL team plays a good NHL team? Well, you found out tonight. After Gaudreau left the game, Jenner and Kuraly were the the only bona fide NHL veterans left on the bench.
The Jackets had 17 shots on net. The Devils had 8 goals. Is that bad?
Only four games left.
It's Jackets versus Rangers at Nationwide on Saturday at 7:00PM ET.