Three Things: Inauspicious Start, Musical Lines, Momentum Changer

By Will Chase on January 21, 2023 at 10:08 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Mathieu Olivier and San Jose Sharks' Jonah Gadjovich fight during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The streak is over.

Johnny Gaudreau had two points as he and Boone Jenner scored 1:12 apart for the Blue Jackets in the second period.

Patrik Laine added a goal in the third period for his second point of the game, and Gus Nyquist broke a 3-3 tie in the third period for his second point to help lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the San Jose Sharks, 5-3, on Saturday at Nationwide Arena to snap a three-game losing streak.

Sean Kuraly scored the empty net goal. Kent Johnson had two assists. Nick Blankenburg and Jack Roslovic also picked up assists. Roslovic is on a five-game point streak (one goal, five assists).

Timo Meier, Nick Bonino, and Nico Sturm scored and had assists for the Sharks.

The goal was Meier's 150th of his career as he continued a three-game point streak (three goals, one assist). Bonino is on a three-game point streak (three goals, one assist). Assists went to Noah Gregor, Tomas Hertl, and Jaycob Megna. Hertl is on a three-game point streak (three assists).

Joonas Korpisalo, making his first start since Jan. 12, was the third goaltender in as many games for the Blue Jackets. He stopped 22 shots. Kaapo Kahkonen made 24 saves.

Inauspicious Start

The Blue Jackets followed up one of their best first periods of the season on Thursday with one of their worst on Saturday.

Columbus, of course, led the Anaheim Ducks, 3-0, after one period on Thursday, before eventually losing, 5-3. On Thursday, the Sharks only led 1-0 after the first period but limited Columbus to their lowest shot total in a period all season, outshooting the Jackets, 15-2.

Musical Lines

The blender kept on as head coach Brad Larsen looks for any ingredients for success. The originally projected lines from this morning changed during the pre-game warmups with Johnson taking Kirill Marchenko's spot on the first line.

After only two first-period shots, Larsen changed up the lines once again for the second period. It seemed to work a little bit, as the Jackets had an early 5-0 shots advantage before Bonino's goal at 5:39 extended the Sharks' lead to two.

Momentum Changer

Just like on Thursday, Olivier dropped the gloves, this time with the Jackets on the trailing end, fighting Jonah Gadjovich at 5:41 with the Sharks up a pair of goals.

Then Columbus got to work.

On their first power play of the evening, the Blue Jackets ended an 0-for-15 rut, a seven-game stretch dating back to Jan. 8, when Gaudreau scored his first power-play goal of the season at 11:19.

Just 1:12 later, Jenner scored his 12th goal of the season, and first since returning from injured reserve.

Laine and Blankenburg assisted on Gaudreau's goal while Johnson and Nyquist assisted Jenner. Johnson becomes the 17th Blue Jacket to record at least 20 points in a rookie season.

The Return

Gaudreau and the Blue Jackets are in Calgary to battle the Flames on Monday, Jan. 23 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop is 9:30 pm ET. The Flames defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 6-3 at home today.