The Blue Jackets are on the board. Kind of.
They picked up a 4-1 win in Thursday night's exhibition game against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, their only tune-up before Sunday's Game 1 against the Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Sure, it's an exhibition game, but the Blue Jackets appeared to take this game seriously from the start.
They scored three times in the opening period and had noticeably more pace than the Bruins. Boone Jenner scored first on a nifty goal-mouth pass from rookie Liam Foudy, the latter of whom was impressive and got plenty of ice time early on from John Tortorella. He looked the part of a player who can make a difference for the Blue Jackets.
Zach Werenski scored a nifty goal in the first period to make it 2-0, Blue Jackets, and Gustav Nyquist scored minutes later to make it 3-0. The new-look top power play unit looked competent and generated chances throughout the game, with Werenski and Seth Jones both operating on the point.
David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board in the second period, capitalizing on a turnover to cut the Blue Jackets' lead to 3-1.
Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo split time in net during tonight's game, with Korpisalo the busier of the two. Merzlikins came on in relief at the 9:54 mark of the second period and finished the game. Tortorella will name a starting goaltender on Saturday, but it sure feels like Merzlikins' job to lose.
Getting game reps is invaluable, Cam Atkinson.
"It was mine and Seth's first game in five, six months," Atkinson said. "Getting our feet wet and back to the systems was important for us. We just wanted to play the right way and formulate what we want to do against Toronto. I thought we did some good things."
Nothing to report, which is strange.
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers is Sunday, with puck drop set for 8 p.m. ET.