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Blue Jackets End 7 Game Skid, Enter 2023 on a High Note

The 7 game losing streak is ended heading into 2023. 

The battle of the bottom. The two worst teams in the league squared off to end 2022. 


Chicago came into the game with an 8-22-4 record while the Blue Jackets entered the contest on a 7 game losing streak and a 10-22-2 record. The chances of future NHL star Connor Bedard being on one of these teams is very high. Tonight's game could impact those draft odds come the end of the season. 


Of note, former Blue Jackets Max Domi and Seth Jones made their returns to Nationwide Arena since departing the team. The pair were given a combined video tribute and time to show the crowd respect. Jones was greeted with cheers around the arena, while Domi was met with boos due to his misconstrued comments about the city of Columbus. Domi did laugh while the boos rained down on him, so at least he was a good sport about the situation. 


1st Period

Both sides took a few minutes to get into their grooves, but both sides would settle in and start earning scoring opportunities. Early on, Gustav Nyquist nearly scored a goal of the year candidate with a spin move past the defender and a nice backhand shot, but the effort was saved. 


Andreas Athanasiou would break the deadlock 11:33 into the first period when he curled a wrist shot right past Joonas Korpisalo. 


Carson Meyer would find himself on a breakaway but a Seth Jones slash would end the chance. The resulting powerplay wouldn't result in much.


With 1:20 left in the first, the Blue Jackets would capitalize on another Seth Jones gifted power play opportunity. Johnny Gaudreau would send a perfect cross ice pass to Emil Bemstrom. Bemstrom would hit a one timer that rocketed past Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock. The Blue Jackets need this kind of powerplay production from Bemstrom, especially when Patrik Laine is out of the lineup so often. 


2nd Period

Two straight penalties early in the second period gave Chicago 4 minutes straight of power play time. The first penalty would be killed thanks to a pair of Korpisalo saves. The second penalty kill would go against the run of play as the Jackets would score a shorthanded goal to take the lead. Roslovic would have the puck down ice and show great patience before picking out Gustav Nyquist, who was sitting solo in front of Chicago's net. An easy finish and the home side had a 2-1 lead. 


Midway through the period, Carson Meyer appeared to be high sticked when carving around the back of the Blackhawks net. The penalty would be given but after a short review, it was his own stick. It fooled most of Nationwide Arena, including myself.


Another storm started to brew when Blue Jacket's defender Erik Gudbranson would start exchanging words with Blackhawks center (and former Blue Jacket..) Max Domi. Something that was easy to miss, but if you saw it, it grabbed your attention throughout the game.


The Blue Jackets would score with just 3 second left in the period off of a quick transition. Kirill Marchenko would deliver the chilli chant to Nationwide arena off of a Johnny Gaudreau assist.


3rd Period

The Blackhawks struggled to get any real momentum going for most of the 3rd period. Other than a few glimpses of skill, they struggled to perform as a team. 


Jack Roslovic would find the best chance the first half of the period with a quick wrister that smashed the post but not in the goal. Shortly after, Johnny Gaudreau would battle it out on a breakaway and eventually get taken down. Nationwide Arena let the refs have it and Johnny Hockey was clearly infuriated with the non-call.  


With 2:30 left in the game, the Blackhawks would earn a power play and pull the goalie in a last ditch effort. Blue Jacket goaltender Joonas Korpisalo would stand tall and make 5 big saves during the 6 on 4 penalty kill. Winger Gustav Nyquist would put the icing on the cake with an empty net goal, giving the Blue Jackets the win. The 7 game losing streak is ended heading into 2023. 


The Blue Jackets will look to continue their momentum into the New Year when they travel to face Ottawa on Tuesday evening.


Travis Jones

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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