The CBJ hosted the Stars on Thursday night in their first game since a 5-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks last Friday night. After the five-day break, the Jackets came out strong. It came as a surprise, however, that arguably their best player saw his break continue.
Starting in net for the Blue Jackets on Thursday night was backup goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Sergei Bobrovsky, who had started every game of 2018, was on the bench in what John Tortorella called a planned move. With their next game not until Tuesday of next week, Bobrovsky’s break will ultimately be 11 days.
While Korpisalo getting the start may have been a little surprising, his performance on the ice certainly paid off. Jussi Jokinen, who’s had the opportunity to watch Korpisalo from afar up until now, called him the “difference maker,” adding:
He’s been fun to watch the last few years.
For the majority of the game, Korpisalo and the Jackets were playing with the lead. At the 12:23 mark of the first period, Jordan Schroeder was in the right place at the right time to put the CBJ on the board. Stars goalie Ben Bishop got tangled up with a defender, sending the puck out to Schroeder, who beat Bishop as he was getting back into position to make it 1-0. It was his first goal as a Jacket.
The one-goal lead would stand until the third period, when Dallas appeared to score just over three minutes in. Alexander Radulov skated in hard on Korpisalo, who made the initial save, but allowed Antoine Roussel to knock in the rebound to tie the game up. Upon further review, however, the contact made by Radulov on the CBJ goaltender was deemed to have prevented Korpisalo from playing the puck, so the call on the ice was overturned. No goal.
The Jackets were hanging on trying to keep their lead for most of the rest of the period. The Stars tied it up with 2:05 left, this time with no video review to save the CBJ. Dan Hamhuis got a shot off from the point, which was deflected by Radulov in front of Korpisalo and into the net.
Ben Bishop made a pair of game-saving stops with under a minute left in regulation on Oliver Bjorkstrand and Alexander Wennberg, sending this game into overtime.
Both sides were able to kill off opposition power plays in OT as both goalies stepped up to force a shootout. Artemi Panarin scored in the second round and Joonas Korpisalo stopped every shot he saw, securing the 2-1 CBJ victory.
With another decent break ahead of the Jackets, bagging two points on Thursday was huge for the team, which hadn’t won in 10 days. The Blue Jackets will visit Las Vegas for the first time ever next Tuesday to take on the Golden Knights, who somehow have the second-highest point total in the National Hockey League.
But they haven’t faced the CBJ yet…