POST GAME: Blues 4, Blue Jackets 1

Columbus can't climb out of early 3-0 deficit as St. Louis wins first meeting of the season

Thursday, 01.31.2013 / 9:54 PM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com

BLUES (6-1-0) 4, BLUE JACKETS (2-5-1) 1

NATIONWIDE ARENA | COLUMBUS, OH

ATTENDANCE: 11,155




Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said he was interested to see how his team came out of the gates tonight against a St. Louis club that would be ready to play, and one that had been playing very well to start the season. Unfortunately, he had an answer in the first 10 minutes.


Barret Jackman sent a floater through traffic to open the scoring just 2:19 into the game, Patrik Berglund ripped in a one-timer on the power play at 10:23, and less than three minutes later the night was over for Sergei Bobrovsky on a goal by Vladimir Tarasenko. Bobrovsky didn't have much help, and he lasted long enough to see three goals on 11 shots before Steve Mason relieved him with 6:37 to go in the opening period.

It was the exact opposite start the Blue Jackets were looking for, and though they got better as the game moved along, spotting a team like the Blues (or any team, for that matter) with a three-goal cushion is awfully difficult to make amends for. Mason was terrific in relief and kept the Blues off the scoreboard with a handful of stellar stops, but the Blue Jackets couldn't muster any offense until late in the second period.

Jackman took a cross-checking penalty and put the Blue Jackets on a power play they absolutely had to cash in on, and Derick Brassard made certain of it. He received a perfect cross-ice pass from Brandon Dubinsky and roofed the puck over Brian Elliot's glove hand, cutting the lead to 3-1 with 3:09 to go in the middle frame.

The Blue Jackets had opportunities after the Brassard goal -- including two goal posts on late period power play -- but could not make it a one-goal hockey game. St. Louis shut it down in the third period and limited much of they space it gave up in a sluggish second period, adding an empty-netter from David Backes for the 4-1 final.




Tarasenko's goal was the big one and really seemed to deflate the Blue Jackets. It was a harmless looking play as he crossed the attacking blue line in a one-on-one situation, but got just enough space to snap a quick wrister toward Bobrovsky that eluded the Columbus netminder. The goaltending change was effective only because Mason was sharp off the bench, and the 3-0 lead was enough to hold up the rest of the way.




- Mason made a big save on Backes late in the second period as the Blues got a 2-on-1 rush while shorthanded. It could have been a 4-0 game and lights out at that moment, but a left-pad stop gave the Blue Jackets some life before the Brassard goal.

- Part of Columbus' struggles tonight began in the face-off circle; the Blue Jackets won 45 percent of the draws in the game and found themselves chasing the play far too often.

- Not a bad debut for Jonathan Audy-Marchessault, who had a few chances on his line with Ryan Johansen and Vinny Prospal. The most effective line on the forecheck was the fourth line, and while that's encouraging, the Blue Jackets need more of their units at that level.

- David Savard and Tim Erixon played well in their season debuts. Erixon caught a tough break on the first St. Louis goal and took a couple of minor penalties, but showed his ability to move the puck and make a solid first pass.





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Saturday, 7 p.m.

Nationwide Arena

TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Johnson 1 1 1 0 2
D. MacKenzie 1 1 0 0 1
M. Letestu 1 1 0 1 1
B. Dubinsky 1 0 1 1 1
B. Jenner 1 0 1 -1 1
F. Tyutin 1 0 0 -1 0
J. Wisniewski 1 0 0 0 0
B. Comeau 1 0 0 -1 0
N. Nikitin 1 0 0 0 0
J. Skille 1 0 0 -1 0
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 0 1 0 .875 4.07
 
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