Stars Run Over the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena, Spoiling Patrik Laine's Debut

By Rob Mixer on February 2, 2021 at 9:30 pm

This wasn't the debut Patrik Laine had in mind.

It also wasn't the result–or performance–the Blue Jackets had in mind.

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If a recap could be one word, this one would be "weird."

They tried to make a game of it in the third period, getting a pair of early goals, but it wasn't enough to overcome a massive second period from the Stars in a 6-3 loss at Nationwide Arena. If anything, their mini-rally in the third period turned a blowout into a respectable margin. Columbus dropped to 4-4-3 on the season.

Mikhail Grigorenko and Dean Kukan scored before the first media timeout in the third, making it a 5-3 game, but the Blue Jackets had nothing left after that. They went dry for the final 12-plus minutes, including a brief 6-on-5 with the goaltender pulled.

And if there was one thing the Blue Jackets wanted to do, it was start the game on time.

Energy from a new guy coming into the lineup. A good team in town. Well, there wasn't much of that.

They were flat in every way possible, including goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, who exited late in the second period–partly a mercy pull by John Tortorella, and partly a performance pull–giving way to Elvis Merzlikins after yielding five goals on 23 shots. 

Dallas was the better team from the jump. Joe Pavelski redirected (surprise!) a point shot from John Klingberg only 3:33 into the game, and the Stars were only getting started. Only 49 seconds into the second period, early in a double-minor to Oliver Bjorkstrand for high-sticking, Pavelski scored his second–another redirect from Klingberg–to make it 2-0.

Seth Jones' first goal of the season, a power play goal, got the Blue Jackets on the board 5:41 into the second, but it was a one-goal game for all of 17 seconds.

A bouncing puck landed in the Blue Jackets' crease and Jamie Benn was there to clean it up, taking whatever breeze was billowing through the home team's sails and stepping on the balloon. After Denis Gurianov scored on the power play to make it 4-1, the game was out of reach.

Grigorenko made it a 5-2 game in the third period off a play made largely by Eric Robinson's hustle. Robinson quietly has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last six games.

Injury Update

The Blue Jackets are, by all accounts, healthy. Riley Nash missed tonight's game due to the birth of his child. Congratulations to the Nash family.

Next Up

Ready for more? The Blue Jackets and Stars will do it again Thursday night, a 7 p.m. puck drop at Nationwide Arena.