The Blue Jackets spotted the Nashville Predators an early first period 2-0 lead, but battled back in the second period to square the game at 3-3 heading into the third period. After a back-and-forth third period and overtime, the Blue Jackets lost in the eighth round of a sudden-death shootout, 4-3. The loss was their eighth straight (0-3-5).
Here are tonight's Three Things:
NOT A GREAT FIRST PERIOD
The Blue Jackets didn't waste any time in giving the Predators an early lead, as former friend Ryan Johansen scored on the first shift of the game. When the dust settled on the first period, the score was 2-0 in favor of the home team, and shots on goal were 17-9 in favor of the home team.
It was the second time in four games in which the Blue Jackets found themselves trailing 2-0 (ironically, they were up 2-0 in the other two games).
BUT A REALLY GOOD SECOND PERIOD
Boone Jenner scored 1:00 into the second period, with assists going to Nathan Gerbe and Stefan Matteau, his second point in as many games with the Blue Jackets. They would score twice more, 3:50 later from Eric Robinson after a sublime pass from Jakob Lilja, and at the 17:21 mark from Emil Bemstrom on the power play. They relinquished a late goal to Colton Sissons, yes, but established momentum and gave themselves a chance to at least salvage a point on the road.
TAKE THE POINTS, BUT CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE SHOOTOUT ORDER?
Salvaging a point on the road is big. It's especially big for a team in the playoff hunt. It's even bigger for a team on a losing skid. It's biggest for a team that ices a roster with eight rookies (!) in the lineup, tied for the most in franchise history and most in more than a decade (April 2008).
Let's just be honest about the state of this roster. Management deserves a ton of credit for having apparently-deeper-than-anyone-realized organizational depth, and John Tortorella equally deserves a ton of credit for (somehow?) finding a way to mine points out of a team that is equal parts AHL and NHL.
I will say, though, that Tortorella may have gotten a bit too loosey-goosey for my liking with his shootout order. Matteau second? Boone Jenner and Riley Nash while Zach Werenski is on the bench? Even Nick Foligno, who stinks at shootouts, should probably be in the top eight shooters on a roster with this many AHL guys. Bizarre.
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