Three Things: Werenski Breaks Through, Russians Reunited, Jenner In The Dying Seconds

By Will Chase on February 18, 2024 at 8:15 am
Columbus Blue Jackets' Zach Werenski celebrates with Jack Roslovic and Boone Jenner after scoring a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the first period at SAP Center at San Jose.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

That's a way to cap off one exciting, late-night hockey game.

Boone Jenner scored with 12.9 seconds left in the third period to break a 3-3 tie and bring the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday night. It's the fifth regulation road win for Columbus all season.

Zach Werenski, Kirill Marchenko, and Dmitri Voronkov also scored for Columbus.

Werenski is on a four-game point streak (one goal, three assists). Marchenko is on a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists).

Johnny Gaudreau, Yegor Chinakhov, and Erik Gudbranson each had two assists. Gaudreau extended a six-game point streak (zero goals, eight assists). Gudbranson matched a career-high with his 17th point (2021-22), and his 14 assists this season are a career-high. Jack Roslovic and Ivan Provorov each had an assist.

Elvis Merzlikins made 28 saves.

Anthony Duclair scored twice for San Jose. Fabian Zetterlund had two points with a goal and an assist.

Calen Addison had two assists, and Mikael Granlund had a helper.

Kaapo Kahkonen made 37 stops.

Ahead of Saturday night's game against the Sharks, the NHL officially confirmed the Blue Jackets will host the Detroit Red Wings at Ohio Stadium on Mar. 1, 2025.

Werenski Breaks Through

The drought is over after a career-long 38 games for Werenski without a goal.

The 26-year-old defenseman scored his second goal of the season at 15:16 of the first period to pull the Blue Jackets even with the Sharks.

Despite the lack of goal-scoring, Werenski has still been productive this season. He's second on the team with 31 points and second with 29 assists. Werenski is tied for 14th among all defensemen in assists. He's tied with the Minnesota Wild's Brock Faber, who has 29 in 54 games.

Werenski has missed 12 games this season due to separate injuries that kept him out of the lineup.

Russians Reunited

The "Russian Line" of Chinakhov, Voronkov, and Marchenko was reunited for the first time since Jan. 4. Chinakhov returned to the lineup after missing Last Tuesday's game at the Ottawa Senators with an upper-body injury suffered in the loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Feb. 10.

The results didn't take long, as all three combined for four points (two goals, two assists).

Marchenko scored at 16:24 to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead, giving the Blue Jackets two goals 1:08 apart following Werenski's goal. Chinakhov picked up the assist, and Gudbranson picked up the secondary assist on the play. Marchenko's 16th goal of the season has him one off the pace for the team lead.

Voronkov scored at 7:14 of the second period to extend the Blue Jackets' 3-1 lead. Chinakhov and Gudbranson each picked up their second on the night. Voronkov has seven points — all goals — since Jan. 15. He has two goals in his last two games and three goals in the previous four games.

With 14 goals on the season, Voronkov is tied with Chinakhov for third on the team. Voronkov is tied for second among all rookies across the NHL.

Jenner In The Dying Seconds

It was beginning to feel like another one of those games that might get away from them.

And then their All-Star, the captain, their most consistent player, came through, yet again in the dying seconds of regulation.

At 19:47 of the third period, Jenner skated up the ice and fought off the defense to nail down the game-winner. Jenner has four goals in his last three games since the All-Star Break and leads the club with 17.

He's on fire of late, with the trade deadline three weeks away on Mar. 8.

As mentioned above, it felt like a litany of individual moments and what-ifs could have been the difference.

The Blue Jackets outshot the Sharks 41-31 but were 0-for-3 on the power play. Gaudreau had three separate first-period breakaways and didn't so much as record a shot on goal on either chance. He later had a goal taken off the board after a successful offsides challenge by the Sharks. Kent Johnson played 6:57 and only skated two shifts in the second period.

A Date With Kings

The Blue Jackets' next contest comes on Tuesday, Feb. 20, when they face the Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 p.m. ET. The Kings won the first game between the two teams, 4-3 in overtime, after overcoming a 3-0 deficit on Dec. 5 at Nationwide Arena.

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