Blue Jackets' Third-Period Rally Falls Short In a Wild Shootout Loss to the Blackhawks

By Rob Mixer on February 23, 2021 at 9:51 pm

At the very least, games between these two teams are wildly entertaining.

The Blue Jackets were dead in the water–twice.

  1 2 3 OT SO F
BLUE JACKETS 1 2 2 0 0 5
BLACKHAWKS 2 2 1 0 1 6

They were quickly trailing by two in the first period, then in the third period, but battled back to force overtime. Alex DeBrincat's goal in the first inning was the difference, as the Blackhawks won 6-5 at Nationwide Arena. Patrick Kane's four-point night was but a blip on the radar, but at this point, it's expected he'll torch the Blue Jackets whenever they meet this season. Kane has 12 points in the five-game series.

Sit back, crack a cold one, and gather 'round. There was a lot going on in this one.

Needing a goal, down 4-3 early in the third period, the Blue Jackets did about the opposite of what you'd need them to do. They took consecutive penalties to put the Blackhawks on a 5-on-3 advantage, and Adam Boqvist scored to give the visitors some insurance.

But the Blue Jackets did answer, scoring their third – yes, third! – power play goal on an Oliver Bjorkstrand wrist shot to get back within a goal at 5-4. If there's anything to take from this game, it's that the Blue Jackets' power play (which has struggled, in case you hadn't heard) found some swagger in the midst of a lousy 5-on-5 effort. 

But it was a bad night to be a goalie in Columbus, kind of like it usually is when the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks get together.

In a season of weird games and crazy results, one of the shining lights for the Blue Jackets was the performance of Patrik Laine, who scored twice on the power play with two eye-popping shots to bring his team back in the game–when they didn't deserve to be.

The Blue Jackets couldn't have asked for worse start to this game, and despite getting out-shot and out-played 5-on-5, they kept finding a way back into it. A big part of their resurgence was a lack of discipline from the Blackhawks, who insisted on giving the Columbus power play (and Laine) chances to torment Kevin Lankinen.

Chicago held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes that could've been 5-1 if not for Korpisalo, out-shooting the Blue Jackets by a 17-5 margin and rarely letting them touch the puck for more than a few seconds at a time. 

Aside from the five goals they allowed, there's plenty for John Tortorella and his team to clean up. The turnovers...oh, lord, the turnovers. Max Domi's errant pass landed right on the Blackhawks' sticks in the first period, leading to a 2-on-0 and a 2-0 deficit. They couldn't get out of their zone in the first period and a half, and they couldn't stay away from poorly-timed penalties. In a nutshell, they have a ways to go and there's not a ways left.


  • RW Cam Atkinson recorded his third multi-point game this season with a goal and assist and has six goals in the last seven games. He leads the team in goals (tied) and points (8-8-16). He has points in four-of-five games vs. Chicago this year (3-6-9) and seven of the last nine games vs. the club (5-7-12).
  • RW Oliver Bjorkstrand scored two goals and leads the team with five multi-point games this season. He also leads the club in assists (tied) and points (tied) with 6-10-16. It was his ninth career multi-goal contest and first in 2020-21.
  • RW Patrik Laine registered two goals and one assist, giving him three multi-point games, and two three-point outings, this season (8-5-13). He has points in seven of the last nine games (6-4-10).
  • D Seth Jones tallied two assists and has points in eight of the last ten games (1-9-10). He is tied for the team lead in assists and leads club defensemen in points (1-10-11).
  • C Jack Roslovic recorded two assists, giving him points in eight of the last eleven games (4-8-12). He has points in three of the five games against the Blackhawks in 2020-21 (2-3-5).

Injury Update

Michael Del Zotto missed tonight's game with a lower body injury, joining Zach Werenski among the ranks of injured Blue Jackets defensemen. Elvis Merzlikins (upper body) was placed on injured reserve earlier on Tuesday.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets and Blackhawks will do it again Thursday night, another 7 p.m. puck drop at Nationwide Arena.