Three Things: Blue Jackets Gut It Out, Suffer More Injuries, And Emil Bemstrom Saves the Day to End the Skid

By Rob Mixer on February 24, 2020 at 10:06 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno (back) celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal of the game against the Ottawa Senators in the second period at Nationwide Arena.

Well, it was bound to happen.

That could mean either a goal from Emil Bemstrom or the Blue Jackets ending their losing streak. 

We're kidding, kind of.  

Tonight the Blue Jackets did whatever they could to get two points. They needed both of them. And with that win, their first in a while, they're back in the Eastern Conference's second wild card position. 

Here are tonight's three things.


For those in the arena, listening to captain Nick Foligno's first intermission "walk off" interview was something to behold. It was borderline NSFW.

He did take a questionable penalty in the second period that led to an Ottawa power play goal, but this was one of his better games of the season. Foligno scored twice, including a goal on Columbus' first shot of the game, and tried to will his team through to a win. 


Unfortunately, it took an injury to their rookie goaltender to give the Blue Jackets a pulse in this game. And that injury had poor and somewhat-good timing (if there is such a thing), as All-Star goaltender Joonas Korpisalo was back with the team and backing up Elvis Merzlikins. 

Merzlikins was run over by Anthony Duclair, who then fell over and knocked him in the head. After some discussion with Blue Jackets head athletic trainer Mike Vogt, Merzlikins left the ice and went back to the team's dressing room. He did not return to the game (nor did forward Riley Nash, who was injured in the second period on a play behind the net).

The only cool thing to come out of the situation was the Nationwide Arena crowd's warm welcome for Korpisalo.

Korpisalo made 14 saves on 15 shots and looked sharp right from the get-go, which wasn't any easy entry with no warm-up. Depending on the severity of Merzlikins' injury, this could be Korpisalo's net for the next little while. 


Bemstrom went to the net, buried a rebound off a great Zach Werenski chance with 24.8 seconds left in a thrilling overtime, and finally ended the Blue Jackets' ill-timed eight-game losing streak. 

This wasn't just an overtime win over the Ottawa Senators. Judging by their celebration and exuberant reactions, the Blue Jackets needed this one perhaps more than we thought they did. Now, it's on to Minnesota.

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