These two teams hadn't seen each other in 10 months.
It was worth the wait, eh?
The Blue Jackets cleaned the Tampa Bay Lightning off the map in their four-game sweep in last spring's Stanley Cup Playoffs, one of the more stunning upsets in NHL history. But the page has turned now and the Lightning looked like their old selves tonight – with an upstart, scrappy Columbus team standing in the way of their freight train.
For the most part, the Blue Jackets were good enough to win...but they didn't. Here are tonight's 3 Things.
Listen, Zach Werenski is one hell of a player. He's one of the best defensemen in the NHL. But there's no excuse for that play in overtime.
Is it too casual? Probably. Too cautious? Hard to say. Yet Brayden Point seemed to know exactly what Werenski was doing the whole way, and waited until Werenski was just vulnerable enough to pounce. Pocket picked, tic-tac-toe, game over.
To his credit, Werenski owned it after the game.
Werenski on the OT turnover behind the net: I fked that one upthats all I got for you. #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) February 11, 2020
The good news is that the Blue Jackets bagged a crucial point, as teams around them – the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers – won in regulation tonight. When the second point slips away like that, though...it's a tough one to take. On to Buffalo.
John Tortorella seemed to take a liking to 20-year-old rookie Liam Foudy right away.
Liam Foudy's making his NHL debut tonight.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 11, 2020
His parents were able to be there, including his dad who took a puck to the face in a men's league game this weekend. pic.twitter.com/wdNCXrSoIM
The 2018 first-round pick made his NHL debut tonight after being recalled from his junior team, the London Knights (OHL), on an emergency basis in the wake of Cam Atkinson's injury. We saw Foudy's speed on the opening shift, as he got behind the Lightning defense and ripped a shot just wide of Curtis McElhinney. Tortorella also used Foudy in a 1-1 game late in regulation, and that line with Boone Jenner and Gus Nyquist was effective.
Foudy finished the game with 10:23 TOI and he had two shots on goal. Per NHL rules, he's headed back to the Knights after tonight's game.
The renewing of acquaintances between these two teams was worth the wait.
You had Pierre-Luc Dubois annoying the Lightning right away. Scrums after virtually every whistle, but overall it was a hard, fast, and evenly-matched game. For the Blue Jackets, they'll feel like they should have gotten the second period (and they'd be correct in thinking so), but there's another game on Thursday. No sense moping over this one.