Blue Jackets Lose Lead, Fall To Penguins After Late Crosby Goal

By Jacob Nitzberg on February 27, 2022 at 8:38 pm
Feb 26, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Oliver Bjorkstrand (28) wrists a shot on goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Nationwide Arena.
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Well. That's rough.

The Blue Jackets played well, but a third-period comeback from the Pittsburgh Penguins saw Columbus lose their second-straight game, 3-2.

Oliver Bjorkstrand got Nationwide Arena rocking early with a beautiful goal. Jack Roslovic made a great play to stop the Penguins from clearing the puck, then Jakub Voracek latched on to the loose puck and wristed one wide. Roslovic picked up the puck on the right wall and executed a cross-ice pass to find Bjorkstrand in space. The Danish winger made no mistake, burying a one-timer for his 17th goal of the season.

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With 49 seconds remaining in the first period, Chad Ruhwedel scored his second goal of the season to tie things up at 1-1. Ruhwedel flung the puck on net from the right wall and his gamble was rewarded when Vladislav Gavrikov inadvertently deflected it past Elvis Merzlikins into his own net.

In the second period, the Blue Jackets took the lead back via Roslovic's ninth goal of the season. He intercepted a clearing attempt, skated in on Penguins netminder Casey DeSmith, and sniped one over DeSmith's glove to recapture the lead. It was Roslovic's sixth game of the season with at least two points.

The two teams battled for the rest of the middle period, and the Blue Jackets held the advantage going into the final frame. Then, Sean Kuraly was called for a high stick on Evgeni Malkin, which gave the Penguins their third power play of the night. Malkin himself equalized with a nice finish on the doorstep, and the two teams were tied again with eight minutes and six seconds remaining.

With just over two minutes left, Sidney Crosby tapped a puck in after making contact with Merzlikins. The Blue Jackets challenged for goaltender interference, but the officials ruled that Merzlikins initiated contact with Crosby. The Blue Jackets were shorthanded for all but the final 14 seconds, and DeSmith stopped a shot from Laine with 8.8 seconds remaining to seal the win for Pittsburgh.

Next Up

The Blue Jackets will host the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Puck drop at Nationwide Arena is slated for 7:00 p.m. EST.

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