Three Things: No Fantilli, Action-less ... Almost, Shutout Streak Over

By Will Chase on January 30, 2024 at 11:10 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins defends the net against the St. Louis Blues during the second period at Enterprise Center.
Jeff Le-USA TODAY Sports

A first this season.

Elvis Merzlikins made all 21 saves for his 10th career shutout and Dmitri Voronkov scored to propel the Columbus Blue Jackets over the St. Louis Blues 1-0 on Tuesday night at Enterprise Center. The loss snaps the Blues' five-game winning streak.

Johnny Gaudreau continued a three-game point streak (zero goals, three assists) and Zach Werenski had an assist.

Jordan Binnington made 21 saves.

The shutout is the first for the Blue Jackets since Jan. 13, 2022. The last shutout for the Blue Jackets with less than 30 saves was their 2-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 7, 2020, when Merzlikins made 16 stops. The Blues had not been shut out at home since Feb. 22, 2021, when the Los Angeles Kings won 3-0.

Fantilli Misses First Game

After suffering a laceration in Sunday's 4-2 loss against the Seattle Kraken, star rookie Adam Fantilli missed his first game of the season on Tuesday night.

It sounds like the worst-case scenario was avoided, but the severity of the injury and how much action he'll miss remains to be seen.

The All-Star Break comes at the right time, as perhaps he'll suit up in the team's next game on Feb. 10 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Among all rookies, Fantilli is fourth in points (27), tied for third in goals (12) with Voronkov, and tied for sixth in assists (15) with Marco Rossi.

Action-less ... Almost

There wasn't much action in either of the first two periods. The shots on goal through 40 minutes were 11-8 Blue Jackets, and the 5v5 expected goals, according to Natural Stat Trick, were 1.07 - 0.97.

A fight broke out between Mathieu Olivier and Tyler Tucker in the second period.

Not long after, Boone Jenner thought he had a goal, but the puck hit the crossbar and never crossed the goal line.

Shutout Streak Over

Voronkov scored in the third period to break a scoreless tie at 4:11. Werenski and Gaudreau picked up the assists.

Voronkov's 12 goals tie him with Fantilli for fourth on the Blue Jackets, and the duo is tied for third in the rookie-goal-scoring race. Voronkov's 25 points tie him for sixth among rookies with Logan Cooley.

On the other end, Merzlikins was perfect, stopping all 21 shots.

All-Star Break

Tonight marked the final game for the Blue Jackets before the All-Star Break. They'll resume action on Saturday, Feb. 10, when they host the Lightning at Nationwide Arena at 7:00 p.m. ET.