On Monday, the Columbus Blue Jackets lost an overtime thriller against the Tampa Bay Lightning, by a final score of 2-1.
The Lightning started things off with a Nikita Kucherov goal just two minutes into the game. The next goal would be scored by the Blue Jackets’ Oliver Bjorkstrand, in the middle of the second period. The score would remain 1-1 till the end of regulation, forcing overtime. It would take just 30 seconds of overtime before Kucherov found the back of the net for the second time, ending the game.
This is the second loss in a row for the Blue Jackets, and after their recent hot streak that lasted more than a month, it seems as if they are starting to cool off. A good chunk of the teams top players are injured and they do not have anyone who can be counted on to create scoring opportunities. Rookie goaltender Elvis Merzlikins is starting to look less like a brick wall and more like a regular NHL goalie (although he is still playing great, especially for a rookie).
Although the Jackets did lose the game, they may have suffered an even bigger loss before the game even started. After sliding into the net post, and injuring his ankle in Saturdays loss against the Avalanche, defenseman Seth Jones was placed on injured reserve, and is out indefinitely.
Between back to back losses, and an absolute plague of injuries, it’s not too surprising to see the Jackets have fallen out of the third playoff spot in the division, down to the first wild card spot. Getting a point in the OT loss helps with keeping up with the Islanders, who dominated the Capitals in their meeting on Monday.
The Jackets look to end this two game skid on Thursday against Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo.