Three Things: Bayreuther's First, A Second-Period Flurry, and A "Good" Loss

By Jacob Nitzberg on May 7, 2021 at 10:15 pm
May 7, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Michael Del Zotto (15) skates against Detroit Red Wings left wing Darren Helm (43) for the loose puck in the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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It was a tough loss tonight for the Blue Jackets, but it was a good one for their draft seeding.

The Red Wings leapt the Blue Jackets in the standings after defeating Columbus tonight, 5-2. Detroit hit the Blue Jackets with a second-period flurry that the home team had no answer for.

Two empty-netters late in the third period sealed the victory for the Red Wings.

Let's get into tonight's three things. 

Bayreuther Notches First With CBJ

Gavin Bayreuther is not a noted goalscorer. Before tonight, he only had two career NHL goals, and none with the Blue Jackets. 

However, in the first period, the left-handed defenseman took matters into his own hands, receiving a pass at the blue line from Liam Foudy and beating Red Wings goaltender from Thomas Greiss.

"It was a great feeling, especially on the first shift," said Bayreuther. "I actually played on my opposite side, and I feel like sometimes that gives me more offensive ability, more shots on net. I feel like I've been shooting the puck a lot these past games I've been playing, and (I'm) fortunate for it to finally go in."

Second-Period Flurry

With over half of the second period gone by, the Blue Jackets were leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Bayreuther and Nathan Gerbe. Then, the wheels fell off. 

Joe Veleno scored his first NHL goal at 13:50. Then, Danny DeKeyser notched his third of the season at 14:48. To top it off, Jakub Vrana added a third for the Red Wings at 16:52. 

"This game, especially, is just lost battles mounted up," said Gerbe, whose goal in the second period was his first of the year for the Blue Jackets. "Not taking care of the puck, that hurts you. These games, you have to read the situation and know the time of the game, the score. You have to take care of the puck. It's a situational game, you pick your spots and the second period hurt us between lost battles and puck possession."

A "Good" Loss

Losing isn't fun, no matter what the circumstances are. This season has been no exception for the Blue Jackets, but tonight's loss was a positive one. If the Blue Jackets lose in regulation, overtime, or a shootout tomorrow night, they'll clinch last place in the Central Division, and a (likely) better draft pick.

Still, that doesn't make it any easier, and the Blue Jackets aren't actively trying to lose. With the roster that's currently assembled, winning is a big challenge, even against Detroit.

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