Eric Robinson Shines, But Korpisalo Injured As Blue Jackets Remain In Last Place

By Jacob Nitzberg on April 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm
Apr 25, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Eric Robinson (50) is congratulated as he scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Unlike many of the games during this nine-game losing streak, there are several positives that John Tortorella can take from tonight's performance.

The Blue Jackets found a way to take the Lightning to overtime, despite being outshot 24-10 in the first 40 minutes. Once there, they lost 10 seconds in after a completely discombobulated effort capped off by a Victor Hedman game-winner, but they still did some good things tonight. One of those positives was the play of Eric Robinson, who notched two goals. 

"It's good to be doing the right things and make sure you're playing the right way, but it's hard, when you're not getting the result, to stick with it," said Robinson. "I thought we did a pretty good job these past two games of sticking with it during tough times, and I think if we keep going with it, we'll see a result here soon." 

His first tally came in the second period on a wraparound, which beat Vasilevskiy to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead. Then, the Princeton product pounced on a rebound at 0:55 of the third period to give the Blue Jackets another lead, at 3-2 this time. Of course, they'd relinquish that lead, but Robinson shone tonight, as did the rest of his line. Max Domi, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Robinson registered a 65.22 CF% and 73.05 xGF%. 

"It feels really good," said Robinson. "Scoring goals is fun, so it's good to see a few go in...I try to get better every day and come to the rink to work hard and get better, so hopefully that's happening."

He's up to seven goals on the season, four of which have come against the Lightning. 

"As I've said all year long, [Robinson] has a lot to learn," said Tortorella. "He has to work on his puck skills...but he ends up showing up somewhere along the way pretty consistently through the games." 

Speed has always been part of Robinson's game, and that's typically how he manufactures his goals. Tonight, however, neither of his goals came from speed. His wraparound came from a quick move behind the net that fooled Yanni Gourde and created a shooting opportunity. His second goal was the result of him being the first to a rebound after Hedman blocked Domi's shot.

"The puck always follows him," said Tortorella. "Since he's been here, the puck follows him. He puts pressure on teams with his skating. There's a lot more that he needs to improve at, understanding the checking part of it, the strength on pucks as far as such the big man that he is, he's got to work at that. But he's around it. It follows him and he's involved in it. It's been that way all year long with him."

Korpi Injured, Elvis Comes In From The Bullpen

In the third period, when the Lightning scored on the power play to make it a 3-3 game, Korpisalo was slow moving across the crease. In fact, he barely moved at all. Seconds before Alex Barré-Boulet scored his first NHL goal, Korpisalo looked to have injured his leg as he sprawled across the net. 

The club confirmed that Korpisalo suffered a lower-body injury, and the Finnish netminder did not return tonight. Elvis Merzlikins entered in relief and stopped all four shots he saw in the third period before Victor Hedman scored 10 seconds into overtime to give the Lightning the extra point.

Tortorella did not have an update on Korpisalo after the game.

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