Blue Jackets Fall Flat Again and Come Up Tame Against Panthers, 4-2

By Sam Blazer on April 19, 2021 at 9:38 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) blocks the shot of Florida Panthers right wing Owen Tippett (74) during the second period at BB&T Center.
Jasen Vinlove - USA Today Sports

The Blue Jackets have some fight. Despite even a player like Max Domi being scratched.

It just wasn't enough for a win.

  1 2 3 F
PANTHERS 1 2 1 4

The first period was what we have seen out of the Blue Jackets many, many times at this point. They've started great. They outshot the Panthers on the period 14-12. Despite that, a funny bounce from Frank Vatrano led to a goal against and put the Blue Jackets down a goal when they hit the first intermission.

After a strong start but a poor result, the Blue Jackets also did what they've done before. Let in some goals and get behind the eight ball. Sam Bennett scored for the Panthers and would get plenty of time and space to beat Elvis Merzlikins. The Blue Jackets Oliver Bjorkstrand responded with an astound 1-on-5 goal to get the team back within a goal. By the end of the frame though Radko Gudas got one back for the Panthers and established a two-goal lead going into the final frame.

Needing two goals to tie it up, the Blue Jackets were up against it. They knew that if they wanted to make any headway they needed a goal early to pave the road for a comeback. They got one from Zac Dalpe who was down low doing everything he could to get the puck in the net. After multiple attempts, he got the puck past Panthers' netminder Sergei Bobrovsky to make it a one-goal game.

Merzlikins was needed to keep them in the game and saved a Frank Vatrano penalty shot to keep the game within one. With the net empty with less than three minutes left on the clock, the Blue Jackets pulled Merzlikins in hopes of getting a gaol but Vatrano wouldn't be denied this time and would get the empty netter to put the exclamation point on the game.

Injury Update

Gus Nyquist, Boone Jenner, and Zach Werenski are all done for the season after surgeries for various ailments. Emil Bemstrom is recovering from an injury and his timeline is unclear.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets next play on Tuesday, April 20 against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Arena at 7:00 PM EST on Bally Sports Ohio.

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