Three Things: Elvis Merzlikins' Debut Was Spoiled By a Sloppy Second Period In Pittsburgh on Saturday Night

By Ben Jandrain on October 5, 2019 at 9:47 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier battles with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sydney Crosby during the Penguins' home opener for the 2019 NHL Regular Season.
Charles LeClaire- USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Blue Jackets remain winless after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road by a final score of 7-2.

After an opening-night loss for the Jackets, things didn't get any easier, having to face the Penguins in their home opener 24 hours later. 

The Blue Jackets kept things interesting for the first 20 minutes with both teams scoreless heading into the dressing room. Columbus' penalty kill was effective twice in the first period and goaltender Elvis Merzlikins stopped the first 10 shots on goal. The following twenty minutes were tough to watch for Jackets fans, with the Penguins scoring five goals in the second period. 

Here are tonight’s three things.

Elvis Merzlikins Makes His Debut

Elvis Merzlikins made his debut in net for the Columbus Blue Jackets. It came against the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena in their home opener. Not exactly a convenient way to start your career in the National Hockey League.

Merzlikins looked confident early on, not letting in a single goal in his first period as a pro. Things got tougher in the second period, with the defense allowing more scoring chances, which led to more goals. Five to be exact.  

Despite the debut not going the way he'd like – allowing 7 goals on 40 shots – it's the first time we've seen Merzlikins, so there's no need to overreact. 

A Second Period To Forget 

Patric Hornqvist and Marcus Petterson each scored for Pittsburgh in the first five minutes of the 2nd period. Jared McCann scored twice in the period and Kris Letang added a power-play goal with two seconds left before the intermission. 

Zach Werenski scoring his first goal of the season was the lone bright spot in a 20-minute span when the team watches the film. 

Scoring Is An Issue

For the second night in a row, the Blue Jackets failed to score in the first period. What's more or less concerning - depending on your point of view - is that Columbus was getting some good scoring chances each time. It's one thing to create opportunities, but in order to win games, you have to bury those chances. 

We're only two games in, but the Blue Jackets aren't doing themselves any favors putting themselves into 2-0 deficits and having to play behind on a regular basis.  

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