The Columbus Blue Jackets blew a 4-1 lead but bounced back to beat the Seattle Kraken, 5-4, in overtime Saturday night (Dec.11) in Seattle. With the win, the Blue Jackets improved to 14-11-1 on the season. The overtime loss dropped Seattle to 9-15-3 on the campaign. Here are three takeaways from a wild night in the Emerald City.
Tale of Two Periods
After a scoreless first period, Columbus opened up the floodgates in the second. It started 8:13 into the period, when Oliver Bjorkstrand hit the top right corner of the net with a shot from the slot. Jack Roslovic scored a few minutes later, positioning himself right in front of the net to put home a feed from Max Domi.
Seattle got one back two minutes after Roslovic’s goal, as the Blue Jackets couldn’t clear the puck out of their own zone and Jared McCann made them pay. The Jackets re-established the two-goal cushion 16:43 into the second, this time with Roslovic feeding Domi, who finished a breakaway to make it 3-1. Domi struck again with 26 seconds remaining in the period, cleaning up a Bjorkstrand shot that snuck through the five-hole of Seattle goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
The four-goal second period was the highest-scoring period for the Jackets so far this season, and it gave them a 3-1 lead heading into the third. The final regulation period went much differently. Jaden Schwartz scored 3:42 in, redirecting a Joonas Donskoi shot.
Twenty-two seconds later, Morgan Geekie outskated the Columbus defense and took a pass from Donskoi, burying it under the glove of Elvis Merzlikins to make it 4-3. With 4:06 remaining in regulation, Vince Dunn lasered one under Merzlikins’ glove into the right corner of the net to tie the game.
Complete Collapse Avoided
The Kraken comeback sent the game into overtime, and it would have been a tough pill to swallow had the Blue Jackets completely collapsed and only gotten one point out of this game instead of two. Luckily, Jakub Voracek and Jake Bean prevented that from happening.
Less than a minute into overtime, Voracek skated into the Seattle zone, waited, then backhanded the puck to the tailing Bean, who sent it home far side past Grubauer, grabbing that second point and saving the Blue Jackets from what would have been a crushing loss.
“They’re not always Picassos, as we say sometimes. Sometimes you have to win ugly and it’s funny, we got some good shifts there, and then we had some puck management issues and some different things, but that’s fairly typical when you’re trying to so hard to get that win. We hadn’t had a lot of success on the road, so we found a way. It was good.”– Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen, on his team’s overtime win over Seattle
Voracek, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in a trade for Cam Atkinson this past offseason, has been the playmaker Columbus hoped he would be thus far, tallying one goal and a team-high 21 assists through 26 games. Bean, acquired this past offseason in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes, had an assist Saturday night to go along with his game-winning goal. The defenseman has four goals and seven assists on the season.
Pushing it to the Max
Hours before Max Verstappen, son of racing legend Jos Verstappen, won the Formula One title, Max Domi, son of hockey legend Tie Domi, had a three-point performance in the Blue Jackets’ win over Seattle, tallying two goals and a primary assist.
Domi could have been on the other bench Saturday night in Seattle. Following an injury-marred 2020-21 season, he was left unprotected by the Blue Jackets in the expansion draft. Rather than selecting him, however, the Kraken picked Gavin Bayreuther, who ended up back with the Jackets and played last night, registering two hits in 10:41 of ice time. The Kraken Twitter account put together a nice little tribute to the Seattle legend.
The Blue Jackets are glad the Kraken didn’t take Domi, as he has performed well so far this season. Twice he has returned from an injury much sooner than anyone expected, and he has six goals and eight assists in 16 games so far this season.
You May Also Like:
- Blue Jackets Jake Bean Paying Big Early Dividends
- Blue Jackets Must Find Consistent Road Success
- Blue Jackets: Revisiting the Artemi Panarin Trade
The Blue Jackets continue their west coast road trip on Tuesday (Dec. 14), when they take on the Vancouver Canucks (11-15-2). Puck drop is scheduled for 10:00 PM ET. Seattle also returns to the ice on Tuesday. The Kraken will play the Sharks in San Jose, with the game slated to start at 10:30 PM ET.
Grant is a freelance writer covering the Florida Panthers/Columbus Blue Jackets and contributing to Morning Skate for THW. He started his own sports blog (Head in the Game) in 2013 and worked in the sports information department while at Trine University, from where he graduated in 2019. You can follow Grant on Twitter @G_Tingley.