After a tumultuous day, that involved the trade of David Savard to the Tampa Bay Lightning, it wasn't immediately apparent how the Columbus Blue Jackets would play against the Chicago Blackhawks.
In reality, it couldn't have started much better for Columbus.
As soon as the puck dropped, it felt like the Blue Jackets were going to take it to the Blackhawks all night long. Goals from Michael Del Zotto and Cam Atkinson before the five-minute mark of the first, made it look like Columbus was going to be unstoppable. The good times would end early though as the Blackhawks would respond quickly. Alex Debrincat and Carl Soderberg got on the scoresheet to make the Blackhawks level at first intermission.
The first period must have been deflating for Columbus because they came out utterly flat in the second period. They would get outshot and it looked at times like they didn't want to be there. Wyatt Kalynuk scored his first NHL goal for the Blackhawks and Dylan Strome would add to that lead to make it a two-goal deficit before approaching the final period.
The third period was always going to be an uphill battle with a two-goal climb needed to tie the game. The Blue Jackets appeared game as they kept taking shots over and over again at the very least looking threatening. Nothing would come of it until late in the third when Patrik Laine would fire one home with the extra attacker on the ice making it a one-goal game. It, unfortunately, wouldn't be enough and gave the team fleeting hope.
While cheering for a loss is never supported, this was another game that helped the Blue Jackets get to a better draft position. An odd silver lining.
Nick Foligno is out with an upper-body injury and is day to day. Zach Werenski is done for the season after surgery on a hernia. Boone Jenner is out for the season with a broken finger. Gus Nyquist is still on an unknown timetable after offseason shoulder surgery.
The Blue Jackets' next game is against the Chicago Blackhawks at 7 PM on Monday, April 12 at Nationwide Arena. The game will be on NHL Network.
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