Three Things: Jake Voracek's 1000th Game, A Fast CBJ Start Goes Awry, Mackenzie Blackwood Stands Tall

By Will Chase on January 6, 2022 at 9:36 pm
Joonas Korpisalo makes a save for the Columbus Blue Jackets against the New Jersey Devils in the second period at Prudential Center.
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
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Another game, another loss.

It was brother-on-brother hockey crime as Adam Boqvist and the Columbus Blue Jackets met Jesper Boqvist and the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night at Prudential Center.

Unfortunately, while one of the Boqvist brothers gets bragging rights, the younger Boqvist and the Blue Jackets keep searching for answers.

Jack Hughes had a three-point night and Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves on 32 shots as the Devils beat the Blue Jackets 3-1. Columbus is under .500 for the first time all season as they are on a three-game losing streak.

Joonas Korpisalo was better in his second consecutive start making 25 saves on 27 shots but takes the loss.


Jake Voracek

It was a milestone night as Jake Voracek played his 1000th career game — 272 games in a Blue Jackets sweater — on Thursday night. We talked about him earlier. Aside from the milestone, it was a rather uneventful night for the player and team. Yet, we wanted to mark the occasion.

For the night, Voracek was held off the scoresheet with just one shot on the net and playing 20:26. He looks to get his offensive game going as he has one assist in his last six games.

Another Jake skated in career game No. 1 as defenseman Jake Christiansen made his NHL debut for the Blue Jackets. He had one shot on goal and played 12:46 on the blue line.


Faster Start

While it's no secret the Blue Jackets have struggled in recent games, it's also no secret the Devils aren't on the same tier as the Blue Jackets' past few opponents — Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning. Yet the Devils came in winners in three of their last four games.

All the same, a complete game against a divisional opponent could go a long way towards building confidence as Brad Larsen's group tries to right the ship.

Only 51 seconds into the game, Tomas Tatar gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Off the right face-off circle to Korpisalo, the 11-year veteran and first-year Devil broke loose, wiggled Korpisalo all around the blue paint with dekes and moves, and Tatar scored his eighth of the season. He has goals in consecutive games as the assists went to Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt.

Columbus responded as Max Domi scored his eighth of the year at 4:54. The goal was Domi's 98th career goal. Vladislav Gavrikov and Cole Sillinger — a game-time decision after leaving Tuesday's game — picked up assists. Sillinger did his part absorbing a hit along the boards and getting the puck out towards Gavrikov.

For the period, the Blue Jackets took control with nine of the first 12 shots — 18-5 advantage after one period. 

The Blue Jackets' scoring sequence started off a turnover and Domi finished in the right place at the right time.

Blackwood stood tall in that period right on through to the end at the buzzer as he saved 17 of 18 shots and stifled quite the opportunity late.


Makenzie Blackwood

As good as the first period went for the Blue Jackets, that was the extent of their offensive highlight.

They only scored the one goal, missing out on golden opportunities later on, and Blackwood was impressive all night, not letting up after his first period performance. Then the Blue Jackets' offense dried up, only mustering 14 shots on net over the final 40 minutes.

The Blue Jackets couldn't find an answer.

Patrik Laine was among those victimized time and again with post shots and doing everything but beating Blackwood.

As the ice tilted in the Devils' favor starting in the second period, they struck on their third period power play goal just 1:16 into the final frame.

Bratts' second point came on the goal and Hughes picked up his second assist. Nathan Bastian also assisted.


Rematch

The Blue Jackets will complete the home-and-home with the Devils on Saturday at 7:00 pm EST at Nationwide Arena. The season series is tied at one.

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