The Blue Jackets lost a 5-2 final to Detroit on Friday night at Nationwide Arena in the penultimate game of the 2021 season.
Game in a Paragraph
Columbus played a solid first 30 minutes to take a 2-0 lead then watched the Red Wings score three times in just over three minutes late in the second to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. The Blue Jackets couldn’t find the equalizer from there in the third, with Detroit adding two late empty-net goals to end the CBJ point streak at five games.
Quote of the Game
Head coach John Tortorella: “After they score a power-play goal, they got some juice, and then they started checking. Their legs were better. They started checking. We turn one over on the wall, it ends up in our net. We turn another one over on a breakout and it ends up in our net. Then they checked the (crap) out of us. That’s the story of the game.”
- Gavin Bayreuther scored the first goal of his CBJ career and the third of his nhl career.
- Nathan Gerbe notched his first tally of the season when he scored on a breakaway in the second period.
- Matiss Kivlenieks made his season debut in the CBJ net and made 31 saves on 34 shots against.
Columbus needed just 1:43 to get on the board as Bayreuther notched not just his first goal in union blue but his first point. A nice shift in the offensive end for the Jackets ended with a quick passing play, as Liam Foudy and Patrik Laine exchanged feeds before the former fed Bayreuther at the right point, and his shot sailed in clean past the glove of Detroit goalie Thomas Greiss.
The Blue Jackets then doubled the lead during a strong start to the second period. It was Gerbe who tallied 7:48 into the frame, as Vladislav Gavrikov cleared a puck from the front of the net to Eric Robinson, who hit the veteran CBJ forward alone behind the defense, and Gerbe made a slick move before putting a backhander past Greiss’ glove to make it 2-0.
But penalties and mistakes doomed the Jackets in the latter half of the period, as Detroit scored three times in 3:02 to take a 3-2 lead. It started with the Red Wings on the power play at 13:50, as Joe Veleno took a cross-ice feed from Jakub Vrana in the left circle and beat Kivlenieks shortside with a nifty shot for his first nhl goal to make it 2-1.
Just 58 seconds later, it was 2-2, with Detroit scoring on a 6-on-5 advantage thanks to a delayed penalty. Mathias Brome’s shot from the right side went wide into the left corner, and Danny DeKeyser was the first one there and chopped a shot on net from a sharp angle that somehow snuck past Kivlenieks as he scrambled toward the post.
Detroit completed the comeback by taking a 3-2 lead with 3:08 left in the period. A Columbus turnover ended up on the stick of Richard Panik, and he quickly centered across the slot to Vrana, whose quick shot got past Kivlenieks for Vrana’s seventh goal in 10 games with the Wings.
Oliver Bjorkstrand nearly tied the score early in the third when he got behind the Detroit defense and got in alone on Greiss, but his shot hit the post and caromed away. That was the Jackets’ best chance, and with the net empty and 2:02 to go, Vladislav Namestnikov tucked a shot home a pass from Sam Gagner to make it a 4-2 game, then Namestnikov added a second empty-netter with 47.1 seconds to go to set the final score.
Gavrikov has three assists in the past two games. … Bayreuther’s previous two goals came in a 19-game debut with Dallas during the 2018-19 season. … Robinson has 2-2-4 in the last six games. … Columbus has been outscored 71-37 in second periods this year. … CBJ have scored the first goal of the game on 32 occasions in 55 games. The Jackets were tied for the sixth-most first goals in the nhl entering the game. … Columbus fell to 3-3-1 vs. Detroit this year. … CBJ development coach Jared Boll, a former Jackets player who is eighth all-time in goals in franchse history, joined the coaching staff on the bench for the contest.
Columbus made two changes to the skater lineup, inserting defensemen Andrew Peeke and Scott Harrington. Scratches were forwards Yegor Chinakhov, Zac Dalpe, Stefan Matteau, Kole Sherwood and Alexandre Texier; defensemen Gabriel Carlsson, Mikko Lehtonen and Dean Kukan; and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. Lehtonen and Kukan came out of the lineup from Wednesday, while Dalpe, Texier and Korpisalo are all injured and Chinakhov remains in his native Russia.
Columbus finishes the regular season tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against Detroit in Nationwide Arena.