The Blue Jackets lost tonight, but it can't be pinned on their starting goaltender.
It was a 4-1 final in Detroit, despite the heroics of Joonas Korpisalo, who stopped 41 of the 43 shots that he faced over 58 minutes and 35 seconds before the Blue Jackets pulled him for the extra attacker.
It was Korpisalo's season debut, and he had to make an impact, especially after Elvis Merzlikins went 2-0-0 with a 1.47 GAA and .948 save percentage in the Blue Jackets' first two games of the season.
He certainly made one.
Korpisalo kept the Blue Jackets in the game all night, but the skaters in front of him weren't able to give him a win. There was a big momentum swing in the second period when the Blue Jackets were able to kill off 1:34 of a five-on-three, but they couldn't find a way past Red Wings netminder Thomas Greiss until it was too late.
"I think the PK was the thing that kept us in the game today," said Korpisalo after the game. "I don't think we got too much momentum for the whole game. We got some in the last period. The PK kept us in the game."
Despite Elvis Merzlikins inking a long-term contract with the Blue Jackets, and Korpisalo being set to become a free agent after this season, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen and head coach Brad Larsen say that playing time in net will be based on merit, not a contract. With Korpisalo's performance tonight, he's certainly given them something to think about, as both goalies have acquitted themselves quite well when called upon this season.
"I felt good," said Korpisalo, who was a man of few words. "We lost, so I'm not happy with that. (We) move on."
"Korpi gave us a good chance, but we weren't able to generate enough," said Boone Jenner, who scored the Blue Jackets only goal tonight.
"He gave us a chance. You could see it all night. He made some huge saves...but we weren't good enough in front of him."