The Columbus Blue Jackets played in front of a nearly-packed house on Tuesday night, taking an early lead, but looked flat for a bit afterwards in a 3-2 shootout loss at home to the Minnesota Wild.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have taken a deep dive in the goal-scoring category, failing to score more than two goals in regulation in ten of their last 11 games.
Early on it looked like the Jackets may have been on to something, as David Savard scored just 76 seconds into regulation.
Savard appeared to have put the CBJ up 2-0 at the 12:19 mark of the first period, but he used a kicking motion to get the puck through the legs of Goaltender Devan Dubnyk, so the goal was ultimately waived off.
For the first 16 minutes of play, Columbus was outshooting Minnesota by a margin of 6-5. In the next nine minutes of play (the final four minutes of the first period followed by the first five minutes of the second period), the Wild outshot the Jackets 16-2— giving themselves an overall lead on the shot chart of 21-7.
CBJ Head Coach John Tortorella talked about the lapse his team had, saying:
We gotta win more battles.
At the 4:42 mark of the second period, the Wild tied things up on the power play as Jason Zucker was able to get in great position for a rebound right in front of the net to get the puck past goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.
The end of the second period was about as crazy as it gets, as the Wild scored at the final horn, but the puck hadn’t was in the air and hadn’t quite crossed the red line when the clock read triple zeroes.
Columbus played pretty well in the third period, but Cam Atkinson missed on a golden opportunity in front of the net on the power play in a moment that proved costly. Right as the power play expired, a Zach Werenski shot went wide and ringed around the boards to Charlie Coyle, who took advantage of the breakaway and put the road team up 2-1 with 7:50 remaining in regulation.
Atkinson went onto somewhat redeem himself, getting credit for the primary assist on a game-tying power-play goal from Artemi Panarin with 5:12 remaining on the game clock.
Bob made a great save on a wraparound attempt from Minnesota with under a minute left to send the game to overtime.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, they weren’t able to score in extra time and a shootout goal from Artemi Panarin wasn’t enough for the club to put two points in the bank.
The next day, Torts put his team through a rigorous practice—one that consisted of many one-on-one and two-on-two scenarios that somewhat could simulate the aforementioned puck battles the team struggled with last night. The CBJ will back at it in a couple days when they’ll host the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.