Despite a great performance from goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and lots of almost-goals, the Columbus Blue Jackets lost to the Florida Panthers 4-2.
Former Blue Jacket Sergei Bobrovsky also played a good game Tuesday, as recognized by four Blue Jackets in post game interviews. Bobrovsky made 39 saves and Korpisalo made 29.
First period – one goal, four power plays
The first period resulted in only one goal scored by the Florida Panthers’ Juho Lammikko, about five minutes into the game. It was a backhanded goal assisted by MacKenzie Weegar.
Both teams ended up with two power plays each in the first period. First, David Savard received a penalty for tripping about two minutes into the game.
Later, Foligno received a penalty for tripping. Cam Atkinson had an exciting short-handed break away, but did not score.
The Panthers’ Gustav Forsling received a penalty for tripping resulting in a 27-second four-on-four, prior to an almost 90-second power play for the Blue Jackets.
With only about 11 seconds left in the first period, Carter Verhaeghe received a delay of game penalty.
Columbus lacks defense in second
The Blue Jackets started the second period with about a minute and 50 seconds of being on a power play.
Aaron Ekblad scored the game’s first power play goal. Patric Hornqvist provided good cover, preventing Joonas Korpisalo from making the save despite lining up well. Kevin Stenlund had received a penalty for hooking, causing this power play.
“We gave them 10 scoring chances in the second period,” said Blue Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella. “Korpi[salo] had to come up big for us.”
“ Yeah, that’s just desperation,” said Korpisalo when asked about remarkable saves he made. “Didn’t matter after all.”
Tortorella adds he did not like the second period of Tuesday’s game. “It’s an easy fix,” he says, though “I think it’s the willingness to make plays.”
Michael Del Zotto scored the Blue Jackets’ first goal of the game, largely assisted by Eric Robinson and Alexandre Texier. Robinson stopped short with the puck and turned up left of the goal, then tossed the puck out in front of the net for the approaching Del Zotto to put in the goal. “He [Robinson] was driving, I was just going to the net,” said Del Zotto. This was his second goal with the Blue Jackets.
Riley Nash received a penalty for tripping, resulting in another power play for Florida. Owen Tippett scored his second goal of the season, a power play goal assisted by Gustav Forsling and former Blue Jacket Alex Wennberg. This brought the Panthers’ lead up to 3-1.
Panthers’ empty net goal
The Blue Jackets started Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner and Nick Foligno on a line for the beginning of the third period – all veteran players.
It was Oliver Bjorkstrand, though, who scored the team’s only other goal of the night. Zach Werenski assisted on the goal. Werenski had also contributed defensively, early in the game, when he cleared the puck from the net behind Korpisalo.
The Blue Jackets received one more power play late in the third period, but did not score any more goals.
Korpisalo was pulled for the extra attacker with over a minute and a half left in the game. This allowed Carter Verhaeghe to score an empty-net goal before the end of the game, making the score 4-2.
This was the Panthers first victory in Columbus since Nov. 21, 2007.
These teams are scheduled to face off again Thursday.
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