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Game #19 Recap: Blue Jackets generate few chances, play the kids too few minutes in home loss to Canadiens

The Columbus Blue Jackets played host to the Montreal Canadiens this Wednesday night before American Thanksgiving. The teams of course matched up less than a week ago, a 6-4 win at home for the Flyers.

Before the game, Brad Larsen announced two changes:

With the Blue Jackets looking for their second win over the Canadiens in a week, here’s what happened.

First Period

The Blue Jackets dominated the opening minutes of the game, with shot attempts heavily tilted in their favor, but were unable to find the opening goal through the opening thirteen minutes and, despite their heavy possession, shots remained tied at five as the teams crossed the thirteen minute mark of the first period.

The end to end play continued but with few chances and, as the team hit the final television timeout of the period, shots on net were slightly tilted in favor of the Canadiens, six to five.

The Blue Jackets took the first penalty of the game at 17:27 as Jake Christiansen was boxed for tripping Brendan Gallagher in front of Joonas Korpisalo. The Jackets killed the penalty, allowing one shot, and after 20 minutes, the game remained tied at zero. Shots favored Montreal seven to six.

Second Period

Montreal opened the second period by going back on the power play as Mathieu Olivier was sent to the box at 1:17 for roughing. The Blue Jackets killed the power play and fed Olivier for a breakaway, but he was denied by Sam Montembeault. Seconds later, Gustav Nyquist was denied on his own breakaway, neither effort really testing the Montreal netminder. After a Pezzetta hit that leveled Jake Christiansen, Erik Gudbranson and Pezzetta squared off and were boxed five each for fighting.

The Jackets earned their first power play of the game when Johnathan Kovacevic was boxed at 6:58 for hooking Kent Johnson. Seconds into the power play, Johnson had a wide open net but fired it wide as Joel Armia blocked it. Montreal killed it, though, keeping the score locked at zero. The teams continued to trade possession, but chances were few and far between. At the final timeout of the period, the Jackets led in shots 14-11.

Liam Foudy drew a penalty as Guhle went off for holding, and ten seconds later Emil Bemstrom was boxed for tripping with 3:54 remaining, creating a 4 on 4 opportunity for 1:50. Both penalties were killed, and after forty minutes, the teams remained tied at zero. Shots favored Columbus 16-14. Joonas Korpisalo fought off one final shot with just seconds to go.

Third Period

As the third period started, the Blue Jackets finally broke through and opened the scoring. A bad turnover in the defensive zone gave Mathieu Olivier the opportunity to walk in on Sam Montembeault and he made no mistake, putting the puck through the netminder and giving Columbus a 1-0 lead with his second of the season.

Columbus goal (1-0): Olivier, unassisted, 1:08

The Jackets lead did not last long, however – Arber Xhekaj fired a long shot through Korpisalo (and several screens) and beat the Columbus netminder for the equalizer.

Montreal goal (1-1): Xhekaj from Evans and Slafkovsky, 2:38

Seconds later, Montreal took their first lead of the night. Johnny Gaudreau’s Shot was saved on the Columbus end and, on the ensuring rush, Kirby Dach’s shot deflected by David Savard past Korpisalo for a 2-1 lead.

Montreal goal (1-2): Savard from Dach and Caufield, 3:35

The teams traded chances through the next few minutes, but neither seriously threatened another goal. After a sudden flurry, neither team seemed capable of threatening the net again. Vladislav Gavrikov deflected a shot off of Montembeault’s facemask with 7:31 remaining, the most dangerous chance in several minutes for either side. With 6:01 remaining, Boone Jenner was denied on a top-of-the-crease effort after a rush led by Johnny Gaudreau.

Joonas Korpisalo made a big save on a Kirby Dach rush with 3:07 to go. With 2:11 to go, the Jackets pulled Korpisalo, searching for the equalizer. Columbus lost control of the puck and, with 1:53 remaining, the Canadiens iced the game with an empty netter from Sean Monahan.

Montreal goal (1-3): Monahan, unassisted, 18:07

Josh Anderson was boxed for delay of game with 1:09 remaining, but it didn’t matter. Montreal held on to win.


Montreal Canadiens 3 Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Final Thoughts

I didn’t like the new reverse retros when I first saw them, and I didn’t like them when I saw them on sale in the Blue Line last time I was in Nationwide Arena. On the ice in the flow of the game however, they look fine. I wouldn’t want one (red jerseys for life), but on the ice these are alright.

This was an extremely low event game for most of the time.

Either play the kids more, or send them to Cleveland. Kent Johnson had an 85% xGF% and got 10:13 at 5v5. Absolutely disgraceful.

Up Next

After the holiday, the Columbus Blue Jackets will return on Friday night as they host the New York Islanders. Faceoff is a late one, scheduled for 8:00 PM EDT.

Happy Thanksgiving, and beat TTUN.