It was another dark and gloomy start for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Detroit Red Wings, who are scaring no one on the ice right now, rolled into Nationwide Arena and spooked spooked the Blue Jackets, 5-3 Tuesday night.
Columbus left the opening period bruised and battered as the Red Wings scored on the power play, shorthanded and even strength to take a 3-0 lead into the dressing room.
The Blue Jackets, however, had some tricks up their sleeve and rallied with three third period goals of their own. Unfortunately Detroit ended up with the treat as they scored two of their own and ended their seven game losing streak to Columbus.
Joonas Korpisalo, making his third consecutive start, did not have a strong night. You can’t really put any of the goals on him, but for a team that really needed a save it would have been great if he could have made a big stop. He was unable to, and was pulled in the first period for Sergei Bobrovsky after giving up three quick ones.
Bobrovsky was back from the dead and played like the Bob of old. He stopped 23 of 24 shots, for a .958 save percentage. This was easily his best game of the season and he gave the Blue Jackets a chance to make the comeback they did. Hopefully this will help get him on the right track.
The Jackets defense was not strong in this one. Detroit does not have many weapons offensively and it almost seemed like the Blue Jackets defense knew this and took it easy. They were soft in coverage and allowed the Red Wings plenty of good scoring opportunities. Detroit had 27 shots at 5 on 5 and 22 of those shots were considered scoring chances and seven of them were high danger. It doesn’t matter what type of player of you are if you give professional hockey players good chances they are going to score and the Red Wings did.
The Blue Jackets comeback was spurred from the unlikeliest of sources. It wasn’t Artemi Panarin or Seth Jones but Markus Hannikainen. The Finnish winger playing in just his third game of the season had himself a night. He set up Josh Anderson for the Blue Jackets first goal then set up Markus Nutivaara for the teams second. Hannikainen also had the best Corsi among Blue Jacket forwards at 70.83% at 5 on 5.
His strong play was rewarded by John Tortorella by getting some late game ice time with the goalie pulled.