Blue Jackets Fall to Lightning in Overtime Thriller

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 10, 2020 at 10:10 pm

What a game.

Buster Douglas was there to drop the puck in front of an electric crowd at Nationwide Arena. Unfortunately, it didn't go the Blue Jackets' way tonight in the end.

  1 2 3 OT F
BLUE JACKETS 0 1 0 0 1
LIGHTNING 1 0 0 1 2

The Lightning made a push early and were rewarded by it. Nikita Kucherov scored his 26th goal of the season on a tip-in just 2 minutes and 29 seconds into the game. After the goal, the Blue Jackets grew into the game more and the rest of the period was even. Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 12-8, Tampa Bay.

In the second period, the Blue Jackets came out on a mission. Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 18th goal of the campaign on a nifty breakaway finish, beating former Blue Jacket Curtis McElhinney and tying the game at 1 apiece.

Shots on goal in the second period were 15-6, Blue Jackets. Overall, it was 32-30, Columbus.

Boone Jenner hit the post just over five minutes remaining in the third period, and that was as close as either team got to scoring in the final 20 minutes.

In overtime, Zach Werenski was chased into a turnover behind his own net by the Lightning's Brayden Point, who quickly found Victor Hedman, who then found Kucherov for a touch pass on the back door for the winner. It was Kucherov's 10th goal in his last 11 games.

Injury Update

Cam Atkinson and Seth Jones missed the game tonight with lower-body injuries. Josh Anderson is practicing with the team.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Thursday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m.

Game Notes

  • Columbus secured a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to Tampa Bay. The Blue Jackets have managed to pick up points in 11 of their last 12 contests (9-1-2).
  • The Blue Jackets finished their season-long four-game homestand with five points. (2-1-1).
  • It was the 17th time Columbus played beyond regulation this season, as the Jackets fell to 7-8 in 3-on-3 overtime in 2019-20.
  • The result provides another one-goal decision to the Blue Jackets’ league-leading 35 one-goal games this campaign.
    Columbus has allowed two goals or less in 10 of its last 12 games of the season.
  • Tonight was the first meeting between Columbus and Tampa Bay since the Blue Jackets swept the Lightning in the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.  The two clubs will face off again on Mar. 27 in Tampa and Apr. 2 in Ohio in the Jackets’ final home game of the season.
  • Tonight saw the top two teams in the NHL since Dec. 9 face off against each other.  No two teams in the league have collected more points than Columbus (19-3-6, 44 pts.) and Tampa Bay (22-5-2, 46 pts.) over the past two months.
  • Columbus has now collected points in 10-straight games against the Atlantic Division (7-0-3) and is 12-2-4 against the division in 2019-20.  The Blue Jackets are 17-3-4 versus Atlantic opponents since Feb. 22, 2019.
  • The Blue Jackets continued their lengthy point streak vs. Eastern Conference teams, pushing it to 19-straight outings (14-0-5). The streak is tied for the fifth longest intra-conference point streak in a single season in the NHL since 1974-75.
  • Columbus has picked up at least a point in all eight Monday games that the club has played this season (7-0-1).
  • The Blue Jackets outshot the Lightning 32-to-30 in the contest.
  • Columbus finished 0-for-3 on the power play in the game.
  • The Blue Jackets were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill in the contest. Columbus has not surrendered a power play goal in six-straight games (11-for-11).  
  • The Jackets have killed off 34 of their last 36 penalties taken on home ice (94.4 pct.).
  • G Elvis Merzlikins made his 24th start of the season, making 28 saves in the overtime loss. Earlier today, he was named the NHL First Star of the Week (Feb. 3-9) after going 2-1-0 with a 0.67 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and two shutouts over three starts.  He is now 8-1-1 in his last 10 games.
  • RW Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his team-leading 18th goal of the season to tie the game at one early in the second period.  He now has seven goals in his past eight games and 11-3-14 over his last 12 contests.
  • C Pierre-Luc Dubois picked up the primary assist on Bjorkstrand’s goal for his team-leading 26th assist of the season. He has 2-7-9 in his past eight contests. Since Dec. 14, he is playing at just below a point-per game pace with 7-18-25 and a plus-17 rating in 26 contests.
  • RW Emil Bemstrom generated his ninth assist of the season on the Jackets’ second period goal. His 14 points (5-9-14) on the season lead all CBJ rookies.
  • D Zach Werenski led all CBJ skaters in shots (five) and time on ice (24:16).
  • LW Liam Foudy had two shots and a hit on 10:23 of ice time in his NHL debut.
  • Tonight’s attendance was a crowd of 17,131.
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