A long flight back home.
Morgan Geekie, Alexander Wennberg, and Eeli Tolvanen scored for the Seattle Kraken, who beat the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-1, at Climate Pledge Arena on Saturday night in Seattle.
Brandon Tanev, Carson Soucy, Jordan Eberle, Jared McCann, and Oliver Bjorkstrand all had assists. Bjorkstrand is on a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists).
Kent Johnson scored for Columbus and Jack Roslovic picked up the point on the assist. Columbus finished their western Canadian road trip going 1-2-1.
Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves in the win while Elvis Merzlikins made 28 stops.
Wennberg played in his 600th career game. Across six seasons with the Blue Jackets, he played in 415 games, scoring 201 points (40 goals, 161 assists). Head Equipment Manager, Jamie Healy, worked his 2,000th career professional hockey game. Saturday's contest marked the Blue Jackets' 1,700th all-time game. Bjorkstrand played in his first game against his former team since the Blue Jackets made the trade with Seattle on July 22. Columbus placed Gus Nyquist on injured reserve (upper body, out indefinitely) and claimed Lane Pederson off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks. Pederson played 10:58 on the first line for the Canucks on Friday versus Columbus. Jake Christiansen was recalled by the Blue Jackets ahead of the game. Adam Boqvist missed the game due to an upper-body injury.
Boone Jenner's 628th
After tying Cam Atkinson for second on the franchise list for games played in Friday's loss at the Vancouver Canucks, Jenner passed Atkinson on Saturday in the tilt against the Kraken. Jenner trails Rick Nash (674) by 46 games for first on the franchise's all-time list.
Jenner had a game-high four shots on goal. He also blocked a shot in 22:35 ice time, which led all forwards.
Marchenko was cooled off on Saturday, but he came into the day sizzling, with four goals in three straight games following six straight games without one.
As Marchenko continues to score, he's soaring up the rookie goal-scoring charts.
Entering play tied for second among rookies with 13 goals, Marchenko is four behind Seattle's Matty Beniers, who leads all rookies with 17 tallies and 36 points. Beniers missed Saturday's game after absorbing a hit by Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers on Wednesday.
In case you're wondering, Marchenko is seven goals shy of the Blue Jackets rookie record set by Pierre-Luc Dubois, who scored 20 goals in 2017-18. In 1926-27, Pit Lepine scored 16 goals to go with zero assists for the season. Joe Malone started his career with 16 goals and zero assists before finishing the 1917-18 season with 44 goals and four assists.
Kirill Marchenko is now tied for third among NHL rookies with 12 goals with Ottawa's Shane Pinto. Pinto has done it in 48 games, Marchenko in 26.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) January 28, 2023
Today, when Marchenko wasn't on the board for pregame media, he looked at us and said, "No me?" Guess we'll get him postgame. #CBJ
Kirill Marchenko is up to 13 goals in his first 26 games, which would be 41 over an 82-game season.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) January 28, 2023
He's now tied for sixth all-time for #CBJ rookies with Serge Aubin, David Vyborny and Nik Zherdev. Which is quite a trio really.
Marchenko is the first #NHL player since John McKinnon of the old Pittsburgh Pirates in 1926-27 to start his career w 13 goals and no assists.— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 28, 2023
The only player to begin his career w more goals before tallying an assist is Joe Malone, who had 16-0-16 for Montreal in 1917-18.
Per Hockey-Reference, Kirill Marchenko's 13 goals are tied for the fifth most for an NHL player in his first 26 games since the year 2000, trailing only Alex Ovechkin (16, 2005), Elias Pettersson (15, 2018), Patrik Laine (15, 2016) and Evgeni Malkin (15, 2016). #CBJ pic.twitter.com/SAYdUKUhTm— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) January 28, 2023
Marchenko started Saturday's game on the first line with Johnny Gaudreau and Jenner. Gaudreau was struck by a slapshot on his first shift but played 21:00. Entering Saturday, Marchenko was on pace for 22 goals in 44 games.
Kent Johnson Breaks Shutout
The Blue Jackets' offensive game was rather offensive for most of the first 40 minutes before Johnson's goal at 18:58.
If you watched this one, you know how hard it was for the Blue Jackets to muster any offense before a third-period push, when they outshot Seattle, 12-4, but allowed a third goal by Tolvanen.
In addition to Marchenko, Johnson came into the day sixth among rookies with nine goals. His 10th of the season against Seattle places him in a tie for fifth.
On the other side, Merzlikins let in a trio of goals, but he played well, for the most part, to keep the team in it.
Seattle had an expected goals edge of 2.49-1.44 (5v5) per Natural Stat Trick.
Home Sweet Home
The Blue Jackets are back at home on Tuesday, Jan. 31 to face the Washington Capitals at Nationwide Arena. It's the last game before the All-Star Break and the bye week before Columbus faces the Toronto Maple Leafs for a home-and-home on Feb. 10 and Feb. 11. The Jackets fell to the Capitals, 6-2, on Jan. 5 in Columbus and 1-0 on Jan. 8 in D.C.