The Columbus Blue Jackets outworked the Edmonton Oilers, but fell 4-1 after allowing a goal on the first shot and three goals in the last five minutes of the third.
Things started off on a bad note for the Blue Jackets as the first shot of the game found its way by Joonas Korpisalo. Columbus created space and time in the Edmonton zone after allowing the goal, and tilted the ice in their favor, but wasn't able to break through Mikko Koskinen in the first.
The Jackets picked up where they left off in the second period, and once again fired shot after shot on Koskinen, but they were not able to find the twine.
To put the nail in the coffin, Caleb Jones (Seth Jones' younger brother) let a shot go from the blue line that beat Korpisalo low with less than five minutes left in the third, then Connor McDavid struck not long after. Gus Nyquist was able to find the back of the net with 59 seconds left, but it was too little too late, and the Oilers then put the puck in an empty net.
Let's get into tonight's three things.
One shot, one goal
It was a tough start for Korpisalo as Edmonton's first shot – off the stick of Alex Chaisson – snuck past the Finnish netminder. It's one he would certainly like to have back.
After allowing the goal, the Jackets got going and limited the Oilers chances on net, but Korpisalo did have to step up a few times – including a huge save on Darnell Nurse with a minute and a half left in the first period.
While the scoreboard shows a victory for the Oilers, this game was controlled by Columbus. After the early goal, the Jackets flipped the ice and took the game to Edmonton on the offensive side (and the defensive side of the puck) for the rest of the contest.
The Jackets not only shut down the top scorers in the NHL (Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl) for more than 55 minutes, but continuously found themselves spending a lot of time in the offensive zone, allowing them a lot of chances on net. Koskinen stood on his head throughout the game and kept Columbus from leaving Edmonton with a result or, at least, a point.
Salvaging the road trip
Time is running out on the Blue Jackets.
They're down to 13 games left in the regular season and the math is starting to become their enemy. Yes, they'll wake up Sunday morning still in a wild card spot, but the Carolina Hurricanes are breathing down their necks with three games in hand. By failing to pick up a point tonight, the Jackets have only picked up one of a possible four points, but there are two big points on the line in Vancouver tomorrow night.
While Columbus would have preferred to leave Canada with all six points, it can still salvage the road trip by finding a way to steal two points from the Canucks. This would allow the Blue Jackets to return home with three of the six points, and perhaps some confidence for the final stretch of the season.