Three Things: Beach Blitzed, Spencer Martin's Jumpstart, The Comeback Falls Short

By Will Chase on November 6, 2023 at 10:16 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Spencer Martin reacts after a goal by Kirill Marchenko (not pictured) against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Amerant Bank Arena.
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

A poor start followed by an exciting finish.

Carter Verhaeghe scored the overtime game-winner to lift the Florida Panthers over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 on Monday at Amerant Bank Arena.

The Panthers had three first-period goals in the first 6:09.

Ryan Lomberg scored his first goal of the season and Gustav Forsling scored his second goal of the year 50 seconds later. Aleksander Barkov also scored.

Nick Cousins tied the game at 4-4 at the 19:03 mark of the third period.

Sam Reinhart had two assists. Steven Lorentz, Josh Mahura, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Niko Mikkola, Aaron Lundell, and Matthew Tkachuk all had assists. Tkachuk is on a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists).

Alexandre Texier had two points with a goal and an assist. Sean Kuraly, Boone Jenner, and Kirill Marchenko also scored for Columbus.

Erik Gudbranson had two assists for just the eighth multi-point game of his career. Justin Danforth, Jack Roslovic, Ivan Provorov, Andrew Peeke, and Cole Sillinger had assists.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves on 22 shots.

Elvis Merzlikins made his fourth consecutive start but was pulled in the first period after allowing three goals on 11 shots. Spencer Martin made 35 saves.

Peeke played just his second game of the season since opening night after missing the previous 10 games as a healthy scratch. David Jiricek sat out tonight as a healthy scratch. Mathieu Olivier was in the lineup for the first time since Oct. 30 in place of Emil Bemstrom.

Beach Blitzed

The Panthers came at the Blue Jackets fast, heavy, and hard right from the start on Monday night.

Florida had a 3-0 lead on 10 shots by 6:09 of the first period and was outshooting Columbus 22-1 at one point in the first period. Then Kuraly's goal at 15:41 had Columbus with one goal on two shots.

Monday hasn't been a good day of the week for the club. Columbus is 0-2-1 on Monday after losing 4-0 to the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 16, 5-3 to the Dallas Stars on Oct. 30, and 5-4 to the Panthers tonight. 

Spencer Martin's Jumpstart

After the Panthers chased Merzlikins following the third goal at 6:09 of the first period, Martin was perfect until the 19:03 mark, when Nick Cousins tied the game at 4-4.

In overtime, Verhaeghe got the fifth and final goal at 1:26.

Martin has been an unsung hero for the Blue Jackets. While he was the tough-luck loser tonight, Martin's proven to be a valuable pick-up for Columbus. Outside of the 4-0 loss to Detroit, he's allowed no more than two goals in any appearance. Martin's made at least 32 saves in three games this year, including his 34 saves tonight.

The Comeback

Down 3-0, the comeback was officially on.

Kuraly stopped the bleeding when his goal helped provide a spark and get the Jackets within two goals at 15:41 of the first period.

Towards the end of the first period, Columbus converted a turnover into a 3-on-1, and Jenner scored his team-leading sixth goal at 18:51.

Then Marchenko tied the game 3-3 at 10:02 of the second period on the power play.

Longhorn Rematch

The Blue Jackets are back at Nationwide Arena to face the Dallas Stars on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Dallas took the first meeting 5-3 on Oct. 30 in Dallas.

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