Home Customized jerseys Voracek’s two assists lead the Blue Jackets past the New Jersey Devils

Voracek’s two assists lead the Blue Jackets past the New Jersey Devils


The common theme throughout this season for the Blue Jackets is their inability to string three full periods of hockey together.

They could play a good first, or a good third, or maybe two of three good periods, but the sought-after “full 60” has proven elusive, especially in their recent 3-10-1 slippage.

But on Saturday, while it wasn’t seamless, the Jackets played their most complete game in weeks and came away with a 4-3 win over New Jersey – their first regulation victory since December 5.

“In the last two games we took the lead or a team tied it and we weren’t able to maintain consistency throughout the game,” said defenseman Andrew Peeke. “Tonight we reacted really well and we stayed together, played hard. I think you can say you saw us compete and beat each other really hard for 60 minutes. That was the most important thing. stayed calm, we stayed calm and were able to achieve the victory. “

In the first five minutes of the game, Columbus led 2-0 thanks to goals from forwards Oliver Bjorkstrand and Boone Jenner. But by the end of the period, the Devils had tied the score, taking advantage of the Jackets’ gaps which in previous games would have proved insurmountable.

This time they managed to keep their heads above water and not panic.

Rookie forward Yegor Chinakhov scored his second goal of the season to regain the lead at 9:31 of the second period, although the Devils managed to equalize again a few minutes later. But again, the Jackets didn’t collapse or panic when the game was tied, and a complete save from Joonas Korpisalo sent them to the locker room for the second intermission tied at three goals apiece.

“A save like this wins the game for us,” said Peeke. “Going into the locker room, making a stop like that, just at the end of the period on the (penalty), it’s just a boost of momentum for us. Even if the period ends, we feel in the locker room that it’s a game-changer that can work in our favor. “

Exactly five minutes into the third period, Bjorkstrand scored his second goal of the night – a single shot from the high lunge – to put the Jackets ahead for the third time. And this time, they managed to hang on.

The final few minutes were not without drama, especially after New Jersey pulled goalie Mackenzie Blackwood out for an extra striker with two minutes to go, but in the end Columbus held on and did just enough to come back. in the victory column.

“I think we played good minutes,” said Bjorkstrand. “Maybe at times there were some details that could have been worked out a bit, but I think we’re going in the right direction.… I think we’re getting there now. Now the key is to keep going. We can’t. not go back. “

Sat Jan 8, 2022;  Columbus, Ohio, United States;  Columbus Blue Jackets right winger Jakub Voracek (93) returns to the bench after being recognized for playing his 1,000th NHL game before the start of a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New Jersey Devils at the Nationwide Arena.

Jakub Voracek Celebrates 1,000 NHL Games

After playing his 1,000th NHL game on Thursday in New Jersey – a 3-1 loss in which he was dropped from the scoresheet – Jakub Voracek was honored ahead of Saturday’s game for this milestone.

Tribute videos with commentary from former teammates played throughout the night, and before the game, Voracek received the traditional silver stick, a painting celebrating his career and a personalized Rolex watch from his teammates, past and present. .

Once the match started, Voracek was ready to kick off the celebration with a bang. He played the first 2:01 of the match – joking after the match that he almost had a stroke after such a long shift – and set up Bjorkstrand’s goal to open the scoring. He finished with two main assists, which tied him with Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon for most NHL main assists at 20.

“He ended up being an important part of this game for us,” said Jackets coach Brad Larsen. “Two assists, made good plays for us. He is an avid hockey player. He loves to play. He hates to lose. He’s an important guy for us. Glad to see him, in this match, (with) the scale of the milestone, which he was able to contribute and help to the victory. “

Bjorkstrand benefited from Voracek’s two assists, and the magnitude of his collaboration with Voracek for two goals on the night he celebrated his 1,000th game was not lost against Bjorkstrand.

“It was awesome,” Bjorkstrand said. “With him, I feel like you just have to find the free space and he will give you the puck. I have to try to find that space a little more often. He will definitely pass it. fun to be a part of. “

Joonas Korpisalo takes his first victory since November 22

It hasn’t been an easy season for Korpisalo, who saw teammate Elvis Merzlikins sign a five-year extension before the start of the season – a move that indicated this would likely be Korpisalo’s last season at Columbus.

On the ice, Korpisalo struggled, and off the ice he battled two bouts of illness – a non-COVID illness in early December that was severe enough to land him in a casualty reserve and COVID-19 at late December – before having to step in as a starter after Merzlikins suffered a lower body injury on January 1.

It was clear Korpisalo wasn’t himself when he made his first start in over a month on Tuesday against Tampa, but he showed signs of regaining his form Thursday in New Jersey despite the loss.

On Saturday, he made his third straight start for the first time this season and ultimately claimed a win, his first since November 22 and his first home win since April 6. Korpisalo finished with 27 saves on 30 shots.

“Delighted for Korpi,” Larsen said. “He had a year. He really did it. A lot of crazy things happened. Looking like the last game, he got his rhythm back. He settled down. He had another solid game tonight. C good to see him enter the victory column. “

Korpisalo’s save on Nico Hischier at the end of the second period was the kind of save goalkeepers dream of. On the power play, Hischier received a pass from Jack Hughes and had nothing but a net as he threw in a receiving shot. Somehow, Korpisalo pushed through the crease, laid down in a full lunge, and snatched the puck into the air.

Sat Jan 8, 2022;  Columbus, Ohio, United States;  Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (70) tumbles into the goal post after making a save in the second period of an NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the New Jersey Devils at the Nationwide Arena.

Peeke, who was on the ice with a front row seat for Korpisalo’s heroism, was blown away.

“This stop was ridiculous,” said Peeke. “I was on the ice. I was just there. Seeing that ending was amazing. … Incredible stop. It should be number one on SportsCenter for sure.

Sat Jan 8, 2022;  Columbus, Ohio, United States;  Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke (2) and New Jersey Devils center Michael McLeod (20) fight in the third period of an NHL game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Columbus Devils New Jersey at Nationwide Arena.

Andrew Peeke takes a look at the physique

Peeke’s emphasis has been on a more physical game this season, and that emphasis was highlighted on Saturday. He set a career-high with eight hits and was a disruptive presence throughout the game.

After Thursday’s loss, facing the Devils again two days later gave the Jackets the opportunity to directly apply the lessons they learned and work to produce a better result. One of the areas they identified for improvement was physical play – something Peeke doesn’t need an invitation to engage in.

“Watching the last game, watching some of their forwards, if you physically play on them and limit their time and space, it makes it difficult for them,” said Peeke. “There are pucks flipping abilities and that leads to a transition for us. Tonight I really tried to focus on this, eliminate the games and remove the body.

Sat Jan 8, 2022;  Columbus, Ohio, United States;  Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) congratulates Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) after the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 win over the New Jersey Devils in a game of the NHL at Nationwide Arena.

Blue jackets onetimers

– Forwards Jack Roslovic, Emil Bemstrom and Max Domi didn’t see the ice in the final eight minutes of the third period as the Jackets defended a one-goal lead. Domi finished with the best time on the ice of the three with 11:52 and two shots on goal, while Roslovic attempted two shots (none on goal) in 11:30 and Bemstrom played a weak 7:40.

-Bjorkstrand has scored two goals for the third time this season and the 14th time in his career to bring his total to 11 goals this year. He never did a hat trick.

– Rookie forward Cole Sillinger played the final 43 seconds of the game as the Devils had a six-on-five advantage, including winning a key battle along the board to clear the puck from the Jackets’ defensive zone with less. 25 seconds to play. player.

– Forward Boone Jenner has had a record-setting seven shots on goal, his most of the season. He also blocked three shots to finish with a total of 10 attempts in 22:11 on the ice. He scored a goal while crossing a pass behind the net that bounced off Hughes ‘skate and into the Devils’ net.

-On his return from missing two games while on the COVID-19 protocol list, Zach Werenski played a high of 27:20 with two shots on goal, three attempts in total, two blocked shots and one for sure.

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