Blue Jackets Blow Huge Lead Against Hurricanes On New Year's Day

By Jacob Nitzberg on January 1, 2022 at 3:39 pm
Jan 1, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) checks Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist (27) during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

It's not often that a team gets out to a 4-0 lead, but they're being outplayed while doing so.

Today, that was the case, and it caught up with the Blue Jackets in the end. They gave up seven unanswered goals in the second and third periods to the Hurricanes, falling by a final score of 7-4. They were dominated on both ends of the ice, and it was a fair result. There were too many mistakes in the defensive zone, and a team like Carolina will make you pay.

The Blue Jackets gave up the majority of the chances in the first period, but Daniil Tarasov stood tall, stopping all 18 Hurricanes shots in the first 20 minutes. Despite generating nine shots on goal, the Blue Jackets scored three times on Antti Raanta in the opening frame. 

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Zach Werenski got the home team on the board first. He carried the puck with speed through the offensive zone, beating his man and firing a backhand past Raanta. Then, Adam Boqvist joined the rush and converted a wrist shot through Raanta's five-hole. Gustav Nyquist notched the primary assist on Boqvist's seventh goal of the season.

Before the period was over, Alexandre Texier made an incredible pass to Nyquist while the Blue Jackets were on the penalty kill. Texier had the puck deep in the Blue Jackets' defensive zone, and he saw Nyquist streaking past the Hurricanes. The Frenchman flipped the puck over everyone, Nyquist gathered it, and the Swede beat Raanta with a wrist shot.

Frederik Andersen entered the game in the second period, and Raanta did not return to the Hurricanes' bench after saving six of nine shots in the first period. The Blue Jackets welcomed Andersen to the game quickly, as Texier scored his 11th of the season thanks to a key deflection by a Hurricanes defenseman. 

Before the period ended, the Hurricanes fought back. Steven Lorentz and Brady Skjei scored four minutes and 54 seconds apart to cut the Blue Jackets' lead in half. After 40 minutes, Columbus still led 4-2.

When the Blue Jackets came out for the third period, there was a different goalie in their net. Elvis Merzlikins entered the game for Tarasov, which was odd given that Tarasov had stopped 31 of 33 shots in the first two periods. The club announced that Tarasov suffered a lower-body injury and would not return to the game.

With 13:07 remaining, Skjei scored his second of the game after a set play from the Hurricanes in the offensive zone, and it was 4-3, just like that. Then, Nino Niederreiter buried one after an odd bounce off the wall, and it was a tie game. 16 seconds later, Ethan Bear made it 5-4. One minute and nine seconds after that, Lorentz scored his second of the afternoon to put the Blue Jackets out of their misery.

It was an utter collapse, but the 4-0 lead was deceiving. Per Natural Stat Trick, shot attempts for the game were 90-33, Carolina. xG was 5.6-1.96 in favor of the Hurricanes.

Injury Update

G Daniil Tarasov left the game after two periods with a lower-body injury. He did not return to the contest.

Next Up

In what is always a hard-fought contest, the Blue Jackets (15-14-1, 31 pts.) will host the Tampa Bay Lightning (21-7-5, 47 pts.) at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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