Three Things: Korpisalo Benched, Co-Points Leaders, And Yegor's Promise

By Will Chase on March 17, 2022 at 9:52 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Joonas Korpisalo makes a save against the Washington Capitals.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports


The Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals met for the fourth and final time in the regular season on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena.

Entering play 11 points behind the Capitals for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Blue Jackets absolutely had to have two points to try to enter playoff striking distance. A tall order against a Capitals team coming in 5-0-1 in their last six.

Instead, the Capitals poured it on, winning 7-2. They had goals from Anthony Mantha (two), Martin Fehervary, Alex Ovechkin, Connor McMichael, Conor Sheary, and Evgeni Kuznetsov. 

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Patrik Laine scored for Columbus.

Joonas Korpisalo made his first start in a week for the Blue Jackets but was pulled in the second period after making six saves on nine shots. Elvis Merzlikins made 20 saves in relief. Vitek Vanecek made the start for the Capitals, making 39 saves.


Eh, maybe not.

Korpisalo made his second start since last Thursday's 6-0 loss against the New York Islanders. The first period was not kind to Korpisalo who made six saves on eight shots. Anthony Mantha scored twice in the opening period.

Aaron Portzline had an article in The Athletic on Wednesday gauging the likelihood of what players like Korpisalo could fetch at the trade deadline. Coming into play, Korpisalo has an .883 SV% and 3.95 GAA.

Per NHL executives interviewed for the article, the chances of trying to sell other teams on trading for the goaltender seem remote.

"Those are the kind of numbers that would send some guys back to Europe, or get a guy a two-way contract, not a one-way NHL deal."

The Great Revival

Bjorkstrand scored to get the Blue Jackets on the board at 6:57 on the second period power play to cut the deficit to 3-1. With his 22nd goal, Bjorkstrand trails Boone Jenner (23) and Laine (24) for most on the team. The goal also propelled Bjorkstrand into the points lead—at the time—with 46.

On the goal, Jake Voracek picked up his team-leading 41st assist and Max Domi picked up his 23rd assist on the year.

Laine scored at 1:47 of the third period to make it a 4-2 game, grabbing a share of the team lead with 46 points. Andrew Peeke picked up his 12th assist in a career year. Zach Werenski added his 30th helper for his 40th point of the year.

  • Bjorsktrand's line for the night: One goal, team-lead seven shots, 17:19
  • Laine: One goal, four shots, 19:06

Watch Chinakhov

It doesn't show up in the box score but Yegor Chinakhov keeps showing those flashes that make you excited for the future.

For the game tonight, he had one shot, one blocked shot, and two hits in 13:23.

Hit The High Note

The Blue Jackets host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday at Nationwide Arena at 5:00 pm ET. The Blues defeated the Blue Jackets 6-3 on Nov. 27. The Blues were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in a shootout at Enterprise Center.

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