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Blue Jackets earn point in close overtime loss against Hurricanes

Blue Jackets tie game

The Columbus Blue Jackets tied the game in the last 15 seconds against the Carolina Hurricanes in a very close game, their fourth in a row, Thursday. What started out with both teams just creating good scoring chances, turned into an exciting game that went into three minutes of three-on-three overtime. 

The Blue Jackets came away with one point for their overtime loss. The Chicago Blackhawks were two points ahead of the Blue Jackets in the last playoff spot prior to their games Thursday. The Black Hawks won 3-0 against the Florida Panthers, gaining two points. The Blue Jackets are now three points behind.

No goals were scored in the first period.

Officials called the first penalty of the game on Dean Kukan for tripping against Steven Lorentz about 10 minutes into the game. Neither team made any shots on that first power play.

Jordan Staal received a penalty for interference on a play that saw a Blue Jackets skater colliding into goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. 

With 40 seconds left in that power play, the Blue Jackets’ captain Nick Foligno  received a penalty for tripping against Brady Skjei. After a brief four-on-four, the Hurricanes had a 1:20 minute power play. “The [penalty] kills are very important for us,” said the Blue Jackets’ Seth Jones. “They have a good power play.” 

Scoring starts in the second

By the second period The Blue Jackets started catching up the Hurricanes in shots on goal.

The Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski scored the first goal of the game, about eight minutes into the second period. Werenski passed the puck to Kevin Stenlund who did not make his shot and Werenski got the puck back, this time behind the net and put the puck up in the goal.

Very shortly after, The Hurricanes Cedric Pacquette scored as well. Steven Lorentz passed the puck to Skjei, who made a long pass through a group of several other players to Pacquette. 

With about two minutes left in the second period, Martin Necas burst out in front of a couple Blue Jackets with a lot of speed, took the puck, went around the back of the net and scored a wraparound goal. Andrei Svechnikov and Jake Bean recorded assists.

At the very end of the second period two of Blue Jackets key players went into the locker room with injuries. Werenski went down and slid into the boards as he and Brock McGinn collided. “I don’t know what happened; I didn’t watch the replay,” said Werenski. “I lost my footing a little bit.”

Seconds later, Foligno took an elbow to the side of the head from Warren Foegele, who Foligno had been trying to complete a hit on. Foligino eventually followed Werenski to the locker room and Foegele went to the penalty box for the remaining 30 seconds of the second period. 

Jackets start third with back-to-back power plays

The Blue Jackets began the third period on the power play, with both Werenski and Foligno returning to the ice. Shortly after the end of that power play, Jake Bean received a penalty for hooking against Kevin Stenlund. Necas nearly scored again shorthanded. The Blue Jackets’ Cam Atkinson scored a power play goal that may have bounced off of the Hurricanes’ Dougie Hamilton. Seth Jones and Patrik Laine recorded assists on the goal. This tied the game at 2-2.

The Blue Jackets’ Max Domi went on a breakaway, that did not result in a goal, but certainly got the fans at Nationwide Arena excited. The Hurricanes Twitter account posted a video of the breakaway and subsequent glove save captioned “Alex Nedeljkovic is wanted for robbery in Ohio.” Nedeljkovic is actually from Ohio.

Nino Niederreiter scored a goal, quickly after a face-off, assisted by Jaccob Slavin and Hamilton, with Staal contributing to the play as well.

Blue Jackets tie game
Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Blue Jackets head coach, John Tortorella, seemed upset after that goal because he had wanted Boone Jenner to take the face-off instead of Stenlund. “It’s my fault for not getting him out there, but it was a very quick hand by the young referee,” said Tortorella. Jenner has a 54% success rate for face-offs over his career.

Jackets tie it up with 15 seconds left

With about two minutes left in the game, the Blue Jackets pulled goaltender Joonas Korpisalo from the net to add an extra attacker. Korpisalo faced 33 shots and made 29 saves.

Seth Jones put in work to keep the puck out of the Blue Jackets’ defensive zone. He chased Foegele, who was trying to make an empty net goal. “I just try to make it tough on them, honestly,” said Jones. “I thought we were hungry in the six-on-five.”

After Jenner won a face-off in the Blue Jackets offensive zone, Bjorkstrand scored within the last 15 seconds of the game, tying the game up. The puck bounced off the wall to Atkinson who passed it to Bjorkstrand, who had stayed at the blue paint so he was ready to just put the puck in the goal.

Three-on-three overtime lasted only about three minutes until Aho scored the game-winning goal, making the score 4-3. Korpisalo was defending the goal from Necas, trying to cover the puck, when Aho sped in and received the puck from Necas and put it in the net. “If I could see the puck I would have played it differently, but i can’t see through Korpi,” said Werenski who was behind Korpisalo.

“There’s no time to sit here and feel sorry for ourselves. We played a good hockey game,” added Werenski.

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