Blue Jackets Can't Hold On To Lead, Fall To Sabres

By Jacob Nitzberg on September 28, 2021 at 9:05 pm
Apr 27, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) reacts to scoring the game deciding goal in the shootout against the Detroit Red Wings Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, it appears Oliver Bjorkstrand is still good at hockey.

The Danish dynamo notched two goals in the first period as he looks to reach an even higher level this season, but it wouldn't be enough for the Blue Jackets tonight. Elvis Merzlikins was sharp in the two periods that he played, but Jet Greaves allowed three goals in the third period as the Sabres stormed back from a 4-1 deficit to ultimately win in a shootout.

Bjorkstrand got the scoring started in the first period, and it was a pretty goal. Jack Roslovic drew two defenders and found Tyler Angle below the goal line. Angle fed a wide-open Bjorkstrand on the doorstep, who gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead.

  1 2 3 (OT) (SO) F
BLUE JACKETS 2 2 0 (0) (0) 4
SABRES 0 1 3 (0) (1) 5

Later in the period, Bjorkstrand tallied again, this time on the power play. His shot from distance beat Sabres netminder Aaron Dell and doubled the Blue Jackets' lead. Before the first period ended, the Sabres got one back off the stick of Arttu Ruotsalainen, who beat Merzlikins from close range.

The second period saw the Blue Jackets continue to dominate the game. Just 27 seconds into the middle frame, Vladislav Gavrikov made it 3-1 with a shot from distance.

Then, Jake Bean notched his first goal in Blue Jackets colors with a wrister through traffic that gave the Blue Jackets a commanding 4-1 lead.

Then, the third period happened.

There was a big push from the Sabres, who scored a very questionable goal to make it 4-2. It appeared that Michael Mersch punched the puck into the net, but it was ruled a good goal. Then, J.J. Peterka made it a one-goal game with just over two minutes remaining. Finally, Linus Weissbach tied the game with 53.4 seconds remaining in regulation. 

In overtime, neither team could find the back of the net, so it came down to a shootout. Jack Quinn scored for the Sabres, but Bjorkstrand, Roslovic, and Kevin Stenlund couldn't find the net for the Blue Jackets, giving Buffalo the win.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets are back in action tomorrow as the St. Louis Blues come to town for a 7 p.m. ET puck drop at Nationwide Arena.