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Dec 30, 2019, 10:10:00 AM

Blue Jackets lose out to Blackhawks

The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their points streak on Sunday, which now extends to 10 games, but they were ultimately beaten by the Chicago Blackhawks in a 3-2 shootout defeat, in which they also lost key goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to injury.

The points streak is the longest that they have managed since they recorded 10 wins in a row back in March 2018, and it is the fourth longest streak in the history of the franchise, but having gone into the game as favourites with sports betting companies, they would have hoped to pick up a win against the lowly Blackhawks, who are bottom of the NHL Central Division.

Korpisalo came up with 28 saves during the game but had to be helped off the ice following a goal by Jonathan Toews during the shootout first round, and Columbus had to turn to Elvis Merzlikins.

Following the game, there was no news on Korpisalo’s condition, and Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno emphasised how important he is to the team:

“He’s been a rock for us for a while. Hopefully it’s not too serious. He’s a guy that, man, we would have liked to have gotten that win for him tonight, because he played outstanding again.”

The Blue Jackets came close to winning the game in overtime when Zach Werenski had his goal chalked off after a video replay showed that the puck had broken the line of the Chicago goal just after time had run out. 

For Chicago, this was a good victory that extends their solid recent form to four wins in five games and was all the more impressive for the fact that they trailed 2-0 in the final period.

Goals from Dylan Strome and Erik Gustafsson levelled the match with only 2:02 on the clock, and eventually goaltender Robin Lehner, who came up with 31 saves for the Blackhawks, was able to register his first shootout victory in four attempts so far this season.

Riley Nash had given Columbus a good start, scoring the opener on 6:54 in the first period, when he skated from his own end and skimmed a wrist shot into the top-right corner, and Pierre-Luc Dubois doubled the lead on 18:40 with a one-timer.

However, Chicago fought back and stunned the home side with two third-period goals, before battling to a much-needed shootout victory.

Words: Stijn Janssen

Images: PA