With the end of the regular season about a week away, the Columbus Blue Jackets went into Saturday afternoon’s game against the Vancouver Canucks looking to stay hot and finish off a sweep of their Western Canada road trip.
In a rare 1:00 PM start in out in Vancouver, the CBJ got on the board first. Just seven seconds into a power play, a Seth Jones slap shot beat goaltender Thatcher Demko to put the visitors up 1-0 with 6:05 left in the first period. The goal was Jones’ 16th of the season, which tied him for the league lead for goals by a defenseman.
The one-goal lead stood until there was 8:07 left in the second period. Darren Archibald gathered control of a bouncing puck in the neutral zone, skated into the CBJ zone and got a shot off on Joonas Korpisalo, who had the puck go off his glove and into the net to tie the game up at one goal apiece.
Less than two minutes later, the Canucks scored again.
A missed opportunity for the Jackets in the offensive zone led to a Vancouver fast break. A give-and-go from DeBoer Goldobin to Jussi Jokinen back to Goldobin led to a goal to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead. Korpisalo, who certainly didn’t play his best game of the year, probably should have made the save on the shot that beat him through the five-hole.
Jussi Jokinen, who was traded to Vancouver in the deal that sent Thomas Vanek to Columbus and picked up the assist on the Goldobin goal, wasn’t done making an impact on the game.
At the 5:14 mark of the third period, Jokinen took a pass from Jake Virtanen behind the net and beat Korpisalo to make it 3-1. With just under six minutes left in regulation, Jokinen set up Bo Horvat on a goal that seemingly put the game out of reach at 4-1 in favor of the Canucks.
With 3:58 left in the third period, the CBJ power play gave the team some life. Pierre-Luc Dubois beat Demko from the center of the ice to cut the deficit to two.
A couple minutes later with Korpisalo on the bench for an extra attacker, the CBJ got to within one when Artemi Panarin fed Zach Werenski who buried it to make it 4-3 with 1:37 remaining in the third.
Just 16 seconds later, the Jackets tied it up.
Seth Jones sent a pass to Cam Atkinson, who redirected the puck into the net on the doorstep to tie the game at 4-4.
All in all, it was three goals in the span of 2:37 for the Blue Jackets to send the game to overtime.
With all the momentum after the late surge, the CBJ weren’t able to keep it going in OT. Alexander Edler beat Korpisalo on a hesitation move just 1:21 into overtime to secure a 5-4 victory for the Canucks.
After watching his team play with a lack of energy for the majority of the game, head coach John Tortorella seemed to be focused on the positives when discussing the outcome with the media, saying:
No matter what happened during it, through the minutes, we found a way to get a point. I just wish we had a better opportunity to get going in that overtime before getting scored on.
On the missed opportunity in overtime, he continued:
We need a save, quite honest, we need a save in overtime…I just felt that we were going to win that hockey game, but we turn it over…and you hope you get a save there and keep us in it but it doesn’t happen and so we’ll leave with a point.
Considering how the team played, Seth Jones was glad to salvage a point:
We played our game for about eight minutes that game and we come home with a point, so we’ll take it.
With just three games left, the Blue Jackets find themselves still holding on to the third spot on the Metropolitan Division at 44-29-6. Despite the loss on Saturday, the CBJ have now taken 25 of the last 28 possible points in their last 14 games. They’ll be back at it on Tuesday night as they take on the Detroit Red Wings at Nationwide Arena.