This is a tough loss because I thought we played really well.
That’s what Columbus Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella had to say after a disappointing 3-2 loss in front of a home crowd at Nationwide Arena on Monday night.
The Blue Jackets outshot the Rangers 32-23 and got some clutch saves from goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, but simply gave up some goals that weren’t characteristic of the club.
Coach Tortorella summed up the problem with his squad saying:
I thought we gave them some free stuff.
Everything’s earned of course, but New York’s three goals weren’t exactly by the book.
Their first goal came 12 seconds into the second period after winning the faceoff and seemingly having some harmless action in the offensive zone while shorthanded. Dan Girardi shot a puck that went off the stick of Zach Werenski to tie the hockey game at one apiece.
The Rangers scored their second goal just less than five minutes into the third period when Jack Johnson made an ill-advised pass near center ice that Kevin Hayes got ahold of before capitalizing on a breakaway opportunity.
The third Rangers goal came unexpectedly when Jimmy Vesey wasn’t guarded too closely by David Savard and was able to bury the biscuit from a somewhat sharp angle as he walked into the offensive zone with the puck.
The Blue Jackets scored the first goal of the game in the first period simultaneously as their man advantage expired. Seth Jones made a great pass in transition to Brandon Saad, who skated past the net and made a beautiful backhanded pass to Brandon Dubinsky who put Columbus up 1-0.
Columbus went on to tie the game 2-2 in the third period when Nick Foligno made a centering feed that went off a defender’s skate and into the back of the net.
The Columbus Blue Jackets played well, but weren’t able to translate that onto the scoreboard.
Assistant Captain Brandon Dubinsky had a simple explanation for why the team didn’t score more goals:
We just gotta execute.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will have a chance to erase the bitter taste of defeat on Wednesday night when they’ll host the Toronto Maple Leafs.