Game #27 Recap: Blue Jackets Give Up Five Straight Goals in 9-6 Loss to Flames

Cam Atkinson scored a hat trick, though

The Columbus Blue Jackets held a 4-1 lead against the visiting Calgary Flames early in the second period on Tuesday night, but five straight Flames goals helped the visitors to a 9-6 win and put a damper on yet another Cam Atkinson hat trick.

A second period that saw seven combined goals between Columbus and Calgary summed up a wild night in Nationwide Arena that had CBJ fans alternating between despondent and furious. The Flames went 3-for-4 on the power play and scored eight times against Sergei Bobrovsky, who made only 18 saves in a losing effort.

Atkinson may have been the Blue Jackets’ only bright star, notching his second hat trick of the season and extending his point streak to 11 straight games. The absolute stunning reversal of momentum—to go from up 4-1 to down 5-4 in the span of 15 minutes—overshadowed anything else that may have happened, however. Nick Foligno, Josh Anderson and Zach Werenski found the back of the net as well.

Seven different Flames scored on the night, led by two apiece from Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. The pair also notched two assists each.

First Period

Calgary took a too-many-men penalty in the game’s first minute. The CBJ PP managed two shots but nothing else as the two sides settled in for a long, weird night.

The Flames broke through on their third shot, just 6:24 into the contest. A rush up ice moved the puck to Sean Monahan, who dropped it for Johnny Gaudreau between the faceoff dots. The young phenom didn’t miss, firing high over Bobrovsky’s glove for a 1-0 Calgary lead.

Flames 1, Blue Jackets 0, 13:36 left in the first period

The goal kicked off a bit of buzz for the Flames, culminating in a shot that missed wide by a few inches and soon led to a goal for Columbus, thanks to a young star of their own. Oliver Bjorkstrand took an Alex Wennberg pass at the blue line, speeding along the boards and firing a shot that David Rittich stopped in traffic. The rebound bounced wide to a waiting Zach Werenski, who buried the puck in the open net to pull the Blue Jackets even.

Blue Jackets 1, Flames 1, 10:13 left in the first period

Columbus went on the power play again with 6:15 left before intermission when Mark Giordano hooked Pierre-Luc Dubois. It took until the final two seconds of the power play, but a protracted board battle resulted in a failed clear directly to Josh Anderson…who picked his spot and beat Rittich for his 12th goal of the season.

Blue Jackets 2, Flames 1, 4:17 left in the first period

Calgary may have thought they were getting out of the period with only two goals given up, but the Blue Jackets had other ideas. Seth Jones created a turnover at center ice and threw a no-look pass to Panarin, who found Atkinson entering the zone for a righteous slapper that beat Rittich below the glove with 18 seconds left on the clock.

Blue Jackets 3, Flames 1, :18 left in the first period

Second Period

The Flames pulled Rittich for Mike Smith to start the period, and the now-backup let in the first shot he saw. It was the Bread-Atkinson connection again, with Panarin floating into the zone and hitting Atkinson just 49 seconds into the stanza.

Blue Jackets 4, Flames 1, 19:11 left in the second period

That would be the end of the night’s fun for Columbus. A Brandon Dubinsky hooking penalty allowed the Flames to get back on the scoreboard by way of a Giordano goal five seconds into the power play. A wrister right off the faceoff snuck past Bob’s stick side, cutting the CBJ lead in half.

Blue Jackets 4, Flames 2, 18:05 left in the second period

Less than a minute later, Elias Lindholm potted his 13th of the year by converting off the rush—the CBJ defense lost him as he stepped into what Columbus thought was a 2-on-1—and suddenly things were a little tense at Nationwide, 4-3.

Blue Jackets 4, Flames 3, 17:14 left in the second period

Zach Werenski put Calgary on the power play again midway through the second. Of course, as the way things go, the Flames took advantage. A Lindholm shot got blocked in the blue paint for Matthew Tkachuk, who swept in the loose puck to tie the game.

Blue Jackets 4, Flames 4, 7:21 left in the second period

Literally one minute later, Columbus found itself trailing. A blocked Calgary shot bounced back to Tkachuk behind the net, and the forward threw it in front to a pinching Noah Hanifin. Flames on top.

Flames 5, Blue Jackets 4, 6:21 left in the second period

The deluge continued as Calgary scored again 53 seconds after the Hanifin goal. Gaudreau beat Seth Jones and got to Bob first, who made the first stop. TJ Brodie was there put the rebound through Bob’s legs, though, and the lead grew.

Flames 6, Blue Jackets 4, 5:28 left in the second period

Though it appeared the roof had begun to cave in on Columbus, the Blue Jackets weren’t (necessarily) finished. Ryan Murray made a great defensive play to interrupt a Monahan pass and throw the outlet to Foligno, who beat Smith on a dazzling backhander less than 30 seconds after Brodie’s goal:

Flames 6, Blue Jackets 5, 5:00 left in the second period

Calgary squandered a Murray penalty before the CBJ drew one of their own with 17.6 seconds before intermission. Despite how quickly both teams proved they could score in the period, 17 seconds wasn’t enough time for Columbus to score before the break, ending with the home side trailing by a goal.

Third Period

Josh Anderson tripped Garnet Hathaway 95 seconds into the third, and you won’t believe this, but Sean Monahan cleaned up a Mark Giordano shot that got held up midway through the zone for another Calgary PP goal.

Flames 7, Blue Jackets 5, 17:45 left in the third period

A little more than four minutes later, Gaudreau received a pass through the neutral zone, cut back through the Jackets’ zone (shaking Werenski out of his skates in the process) and pushed a shot through Bob’s five-hole. *That* was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Joonas Korpisalo entered the game for the beleaguered Bob.

Flames 8, Blue Jackets 5, 13:31 left in the third period

This game wasn’t weird enough, so how about a hat trick? Eight minutes into the period, Cam Atkinson stood tall against Noah Hanifin in front of the net and tipped home a Markus Nutivaara shot to prompt whatever hats were left in the building to rain down on the ice.

Flames 8, Blue Jackets 6, 11:47 left in the third period

Unfortunately for Columbus, Calgary wasn’t done. A Panarin center ice turnover went the other way and turned into an Austin Czarnik score, putting the visitors within striking distance of double digits.

Flames 9, Blue Jackets 6, 6:49 left in the third

Thankfully, Calgary didn’t reach 10 goals. But the Blue Jackets didn’t score any more either, so...not great.

Final Thoughts

  • The Blue Jackets pulled this “let the other team come back” routine last Monday against Detroit and on Saturday against the Islanders. One of those resulted in a loss, and tonight did as well. This group does not know how to step on throats and it’s absolutely infuriating to watch.
  • Cam Atkinson is two games away from tying Ryan Johansen’s 13-game point streak in 2014-15. Atkinson has 13-6-19 in his last 11 games.
  • Columbus had the better of Calgary on five-on-five (55.13 CF% and 54.84 FF%, winning every period in both categories), scoring chances (20-15) and high danger chances (9-7). The penalties pulled the fancy stats the other way, though, and Bob was very not good despite receiving little help.
  • Zach Werenski scored his 100th career point on Tuesday night in his 182nd NHL game. Not too shabby. He wasn’t so hot defensively, but neither was anyone else.
  • How often do you see all four goaltenders play in a game? I hope I don’t see it again anytime soon.
  • Torts put the lines in a blender as the game went on. Riley Nash played 11:31. Seth Jones played 26:13, nearly five minutes more than his defensive partner and the next-highest Blue Jacket in terms of ice time.
  • At least the cannon was able to bother Gaudreau in pregame: /
  • On the road at Philadelphia this Thursday. Take the over./

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