Marc-Andre Fluery stopped 24 of 26 shots and Alex DeBrincat scored a pair of goals as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets by score of 4-2 Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena.
After facing off against each other eight times in the 2020-21 season, Tuesday's meeting between the two teams was their first of the season. It was to be Seth Jones' first game against his former team, but Jones was placed into the league's COVID-19 protocol earlier in the day and was not available.
Boone Jenner started the scoring for the Blue Jackets, picking up his team-leading 14th goal of the season at the 12:51 mark of the opening period. The Columbus captain swept home a goal mouth pass Gustav Nyquist, who picked up his 10th assist of the season for his efforts. Zach Werenski had the secondary assist.
As has been the story so many times this season, the Blue Jackets lead would not last long. DeBrincat would tie the game at 1-1 just 0:24 later after a failed clearing attempt from Adam Boqvist, the former Blackhawk playing in his 100th career NHL game. The puck ended up on the stick of Riley Stillman, who found DeBrincat on the glove side of goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.
Chicago took their first lead of the game when Calvin de Haan scored with just under five minutes left in the second period. de Haan's first goal of the season put the Blackhawks up 2-1.
Connor Murphy extended the Chicago lead in the third period, making it 3-1 on his third goal of the season at the 6:36 mark. According to Evolving Hockey, the goal sent Columbus' chance of winning the game from 26.1% down to 7.6%, a damning blow.
The Blue Jackets would give the home crowd a little bit of life late when Nyquist added a short-handed goal with 1:21 remaining to make it a 3-2 game, but DeBrincat's second goal of the game — an empty-netter — would seal the deal in the final seconds.
The Blue Jackets head for Raleigh and a Thursday match-up with the Carolina Hurricanes to kick off a three-game road trip. Puck drop is set for 7:00 P.M. Columbus is 0-2-0 against the Hurricanes this year, including a 7-4 loss on New Year's Day. This will be their first of two trips to Carolina this season.