There goes the point streak.
Brandon Duhaime and Kirill Kaprizov scored first-period goals to lift the Minnesota Wild over the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-0, on Thursday at Nationwide Arena.
Kaprizov is on a three-game point streak (three goals, one assist).
Frederick Gaudreau, Jake Middleton, and Ryan Hartman picked up assists. Hartman is also on a three-game point streak (three goals, two assists).
Marc-Andre Fleury picked up his 17th win of the season, making all 30 stops. It's Fleury's first shutout this season, the first in his career against the Blue Jackets, and the 73rd of his career, which is the 12th most in NHL history. Fleury has four of his 17 wins against playoff teams.
Joonas Korpisalo made 25 saves. Cole Sillinger missed the game due to illness.
He played 349 consecutive games spanning eight and a half seasons. Then that streak ended last weekend prior to the win over the Dallas Stars due to a lower-body injury.
Following two consecutive games out of the lineup, Gaudreau was back for the Blue Jackets on Thursday to start a new streak, which happened to coincide with another streak; the Blue Jackets' three-game point streak (2-0-1) entering play.
Gaudreau played on his familiar first line with Boone Jenner and Patrik Laine.
The trio being back together was not enough to register on the scoresheet as the Blue Jackets as a whole couldn't solve Fleury's mastery. In addition to Gaudreau, Sean Kuraly kept the 'A' for the night. Jenner led the game with six shots on net.
Blue Jackets Tamed
As the Blue Jackets looked to continue their three-game point streak and get their third win in four tries, the Wild had other ideas.
Duhaime and Kaprizov's first-period goals set the tone for the night, although Korpisalo made his impact early.
The goaltender made a highlight reel save on Kirill Kaprizov just a few minutes into the contest following a turnover by Laine. Korpisalo did that on Kaprizov a few times before the winger's team-leading 34th goal at 8:48. Kaprizov leads the Wild with 68 points, and is second with 34 assists.
On a penalty kill late in the first period, Liam Foudy missed a golden opportunity.
Fleury couldn't cleanly handle the puck as it came back off the boards on a dump-in and Foudy was there for a wide-open look but the puck went wide.
Prior to the game, the Wild were involved in a three-way trade involving the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. This is especially interesting considering the Vladislav Gavrikov-to-the-Bruins rumors and the Capitals sending defenseman Dmitry Orlov to the Bruins. The trade deadline is Friday, Mar. 3.
Everything But Score
The Blue Jackets won the face-off battle, 37-15 (71.2%), and Kuraly led the game winning 13-of-15 (86.7%). In his first game playing center for Columbus, Lane Pederson won seven of eight (87.5%) in 7:06.
In addition to Foudy's first-period chance, the Blue Jackets had a third-period chance off a turnover in the Wild's end, leading to a mad scramble.
Gaudreau forces a turnover and gets a great look on Fleury, but he makes the stop. Some absolute chaos ensues but Jenner's follow up stays out, then the net is off. #CBJ probably needed one there. Still down 2-0 with 5:20 left.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 24, 2023
The Wild led the expected goals battle for much of the night but Columbus' third-period push helped them in that area for the night (2.9 - 2.42) per Natural Stat Trick. According to MoneyPuck, Fleury's goals saved above expected was 3.57.
FINAL: Minnesota 2, #CBJ 0— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 24, 2023
Jackets with a 70-55 edge in shot attempts but can't get one. 30 saves for Fleury.
Back at it Saturday afternoon against Edmonton.
Both teams were 0-for-1 on the power play. The Wild won the blocked shot battle, 25-12. Mathieu Olivier briefly left the second period after blocking a shot. Columbus gets another crack against the Wild on Sunday in Minnesota at 2:00 pm ET.
McDavid & Co.
The Blue Jackets host the Edmonton Oilers at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 12:30 pm ET. The Blue Jackets took the first meeting, 3-2, in overtime in Edmonton on Jan. 25. The Oilers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-2, tonight at PPG Paints Arena.