Recap: Blue Jackets at Canucks
The Blue Jackets played their final game north of the border this regular season on Saturday afternoon as they traveled to Vancouver to take on the Canucks. The Canucks, long since eliminated from playoff contention, were looking to play spoilers as Columbus continued their playoff push.
Thatcher Demko made his NHL debut in net for the Vancouver Canucks. Joonas Korpisalo got the start over Sergei Bobrovsky for the Jackets. Bob has played both games of the trip and earned a day off. No other lineup changes occured for the Jackets. Could the Jackets find their fifth hat trick in six road games?
Here’s what happened.
The Columbus Blue Jackets opened the game on the front foot. Cam Atkinson hit the post on his first shot of the game. Boone Jenner had a great opportunity that was saved by Demko. Korpisalo made a massive stick save on a cross-crease pass to keep the game scoreless at the six minute mark.
Boone Jenner tipped a puck over the net with 12:42 to go. After a furious pace to open the game, the game slowed through the middle part of the period. Korpisalo made a save on the doorstep with 10:59 gone, only the second Vancover shot on net of the first period. Cam Atkinson fired a shot high over a beaten Demko at 11:30. They hit three posts through the first 13 minutes of the game. The Jackets earned the first power play of the night as Pierre-Luc Dubois was tripped in the defensive zone by Daniel Sedin with 6:12 to go. Seth Jones scored off the faceoff as Artemi Panarin drew the coverage and left Jones a massive lane. With the goal, he tied the franchise record for single season points by a defenseman with 51.
Columbus goal: Jones from Panarin and Atkinson, 13:55
Great defenseman, great American: Seth Jones. pic.twitter.com/7p2XE8Ywnn— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) March 31, 2018
With his 16th goal this season, Jones tied Dougie Hamilton for the league lead in goals by a defenseman this season. Korpisalo made a sequence of saves to maintain the lead, including a huge save on Adam Gaudette and then Daniel Sedin with just under two minutes to go. David Savard and Ian Cole collided as Savard tried to miss a hit, but both were able to skate away.
After 20 minutes, Columbus led 1-0. Shots favored Vancouver 12-7.
Cam Atkinson was denied on a two on one after a feed from Panarin, who looked frustrated at Cam’s inability to finish the break. Mark Letestu was moved to the line with the kids, replacing Brandon Dubinsky on that line. Meanwhile, Artemi Panarin is three points from a career high and six from setting a new franchise record. (My word, Columbus has never had an 80 point player?) Korpisalo denied a wraparound at the 6 minute mark.
Ian Cole went to the box for tripping at 8:12. Despite several golden chances for Vancover, Columbus was able to kill the penalty. Vancouver was abe to equalize on a shot that Korpisalo tipped with his glove but should have had.
Vancouver goal: Archibald from Sautner, 11:53
Also, stop using our song, Canucks. Vancover made it 2-1 shortly after as a give and go bit the Blue Jackets.
Vancouver goal: Goldobin from Jokinen, 13:37
Columbus, frankly, just didn’t show up in the second period. Vancouver ran over Columbus for the entirety of the period. Wennberg and Vanek missed combining on what could have been an equalizing goal as Wennberg’s pass couldn’t connect in the slot.
Markus Nutivaara was announced that he had suffered an upper body injury and would not return to the game. The Jackets went back to the power play with 2:15 to go in the period. To be kind, the shift by the first unit was abysmal. Vancouver had a better chance to score than Columbus did. The period ended with the Jackets trailing 2-1.
Panarin started the third period with Wennberg and Bjorkstrand, a demotion from the first line. Sonny Milano took his place on the top line. The Torts Line Blender went to work to try to shake off the malaise for Columbus. Matt Calvert had a wide open attempt hit the post.
Vancouver took a commanding 3-1 lead as Jussi Jokinen (remember him?) scored.
Vancouver goal: Jokinen from Virtanen and Horvat, 5:14
Vancouver just had the Jackets number. Sometimes it’s just not your day, and it was not the Jackets day. The energy wasn’t there, the team looked flat. The wheels came off as Vancouver was able to score a fourth goal.
Vancouver goal: Horvat from Pouliot and Jokinen, 14:03
(I’ll be totally honest, I flipped to the final four. I have about as much interest in this game as the Jackets do)
Hey, a sympathy goal. PLD scored, assisted by Panarin and Seth Jones. Jones broke the record for points by a defenseman in a season, and Panarin inched closer to his career high in points.
Columbus goal: Dubois from Panarin and Jones, 16:02
Zach Werenski scored to make it a one goal game with 1:37 to play. See what happens when I turn the game off? His 15th of the year from Panarin and Jones drew the assists.
Columbus goal: Werenski from Panarin and Jones, 18:23
Columbus then tied it as Cam Atkinson scored his 21st of the year. Of course they did.
Columbus goal: Atkinson from Jones and Panarin, 18:44
Of course they did the thing when I turned it off. Of course. This freaking hockey team was written off for dead and then just up and decided that they were not going to to go away with five minutes to go. I never saw that coming, and I am 100% certain no fans did either. They went from dead and buried to playing for a second point in overtime.
Fun fact, Zach Werenski and Seth Jones become the first pair of defensive teammates to have 15 goals in a season since Roman Josi and Shea Weber.
Vancouver won it in overtime, but at least the Jackets salvaged a point. There are worse fates in the world, but that is not one to write home about. Zach Werenski bit on a faked pass and Edler was able to bury it behind Korpisalo.
Vancouver Canucks 5 Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (OT)