The long-awaited return.
Johnny Gaudreau had two assists on Monday but the trip back to Calgary was foiled in overtime as the Flames beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-3.
Andrew Mangiapane had two points and Dillon Dube scored the game-winner in extra time. The goal is Dube's second game-winner in as many games.
Walker Duehr and Nazem Kadri also scored for Calgary. MacKenzie Weegar, Nikita Zadorov, Mikael Backlund, and Blake Coleman earned the assists.
Kirill Marchenko and Patrik Laine each scored power-play goals for the Blue Jackets, 49 seconds apart, with Gaudreau getting the primary assists on both.
The goal snaps Marchenko's career-long six-game goalless drought. Laine now has a team-leading 14 goals, breaking a tie with Gaudreau, and has consecutive power-play goals over his last two games for his only power-play goals this season.
He had two assists to complete a three-point night and continue a three-game point streak (two goals, four assists). Gaudreau has a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists). Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus. Adam Boqvist and Erik Gudbranson had assists.
Dan Vladar had 22 saves for Calgary while Joonas Korpisalo had 45 saves.
Everyone was waiting for this one.
Gaudreau made his much-anticipated return back to the city of Calgary where he played parts of nine seasons in his NHL career.
A Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner in 2016-17, the seven-time All-Star was remembered with a video tribute.
If you've followed Gaudreau and the Blue Jackets closely this season, you know some fan bases, particularly those on the eastern seaboard, close to where Gaudreau grew up in New Jersey, weren't particularly fond of the decision to migrate east from western Canada only to settle in Ohio.
That is, it seemed sure that if Gaudreau left his home in Calgary, he would have headed home, whether that was with the New Jersey Devils, the Philadelphia Flyers, or maybe somewhere else.
Those respective fan bases that felt jilted by the superstar's decision, and ultimately his right to sign where he wanted, relayed heavy boos every time he touched the puck in those markets.
That was the expected fate of what awaited him in Calgary.
Loud boos for No. 13 as he skates with the puck #CBJ— 1st Ohio Battery (@1stOhioBattery) January 24, 2023
Gaudreau's best chance on Monday came early on his seventh career penalty shot in the first period, though he didn't score. He did pick up points on two power-play goals in the second period.
Gaudreau had five shots on nine attempts to go with the two assists in 22:54. He leads the team with 33 assists and 46 points. Gudbranson had one assist, two blocked shots, and one hit in 22:34.
Not to be forgotten in the hoopla was the return of the defenseman, Gudbranson. Gudbranson only spent one season with the Flames, but it was arguably his best season to date. He recorded career-highs in goals (six), assists (11), and points (17) as he played in a career-high 78 games in 2021-22.
On This Date
On the date in 2021, Laine and Jack Roslovic were acquired by the Blue Jackets for Pierre-Luc Dubois in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets.
On Monday night, Roslovic was centering Gaudreau and Laine but that only lasted for the first period before Boone Jenner went back to the familiar first-line role for the start of the second period.
#CBJ lines to start the second— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) January 24, 2023
#CBJ Jack Roslovic played a season-low 9:55 tonight. He did not play in the third period.— Coby Maeir (@CobyMaeir) January 24, 2023
The second-period theme continued. Columbus grabbed a pair of goals, similar to Saturday's middle period against the Sharks, and Mathieu Olivier fought Milan Lucic for OIivier's third fight in as many games.
Korpisalo's Big Night Not Enough
Korpisalo has done his part many times for the Blue Jackets this season and Monday was no different.
Stopping 17 first-period shots, he kept his team in it from the start of this one all the way through the end in overtime. Moneypuck had the goals saved above expected at 0.68. Calgary had a 5v5 expected goal edge of 3.78-1.8.
Joonas Korpisalo https://t.co/KRlROYPbKe— Steve Levy (@espnSteveLevy) January 24, 2023
The Blue Jackets are on TNT on Wednesday night, Jan. 25 when they battle the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Puck drop is 9:30 pm ET.