COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)Kent Johnson’s third-period goal was the tiebreaker, Joonas Korpisalo had 36 saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied to beat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1 on Thursday night.
The Blue Jackets overcame a terrible first period, tying a season-low with just two shots on goal in the frame. They tied the game in the second period and moved ahead at 9:40 of the third with Johnson’s shot through a screen seconds after a power play had ended.
”It wasn’t the start we wanted, but you know, we weathered that storm,” Columbus coach Brad Larsen said. ”Korpi was outstanding for us.”
Patrik Laine also scored for Columbus, and Boone Jenner scored into an empty net with 3 seconds left in the game.
”The guys did a good job letting me see the puck, blocking shots,” said Korpisalo, who got a showcase game for teams that might be interested as the trade deadline approaches next month. He has split time with Elvis Merzlikins this season.
Kyle Connor scored for the Jets, and David Rittich had 21 saves.
With Dallas off on Thursday, the Jets missed a chance to pull even with the Stars at the top of the Central Division. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Winnipeg.
Columbus is still a distant last in the Metropolitan Division.
The Jets got on the board in the final seconds of the first period on a power play.
After a questionable hooking call on Columbus’ Erik Gudbranson, Connor got a pass from Blake Wheeler and buried a shot from the right circle for his 25th of the season.
Laine tied the game on a power play 10 minutes into the second period when he shot over Rittich’s far shoulder from the left circle.
Johnson got the tiebreaker with a shot from the left circle.
”I was looking for a pass and didn’t want to force one through the seam. I thought I could surprise the goalie there,” Johnson said. ”It wasn’t a hard shot. If he sees it, he probably saves it. I didn’t even see it go in.”
The game featured 12 power plays – seven for the Jets and five for the Blue Jackets. Each team scored once with a man advantage. Columbus killed three 5-on-3 power plays, the first time the team has done that since 2011.
”You get that many power plays to score and don’t – regardless of the opponent – that’s on us,” Winnipeg coach Rick Bowness said.
GAVRIKOV SCRATCHED AGAIN
Blue Jackets defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov was a healthy scratch for the second straight game to protect him from an injury ahead of a potential trade. He is expected to be dealt before the March 3 trade deadline. The 27-year-old Gavrikov, who will be unrestricted free agent, hasn’t been able to reach a deal with Columbus on another contract.
Manitoba Moose assistant coach Eric Dubois — father of Winnipeg forward Pierre-Luc – joined the Jets on the road trip through Columbus, New York, and New Jersey. He was standing in for assistant coach Brad Lauer, who is recovering from a back injury. Manitoba is the AHL affiliate of the Jets. Pierre-Luc Dubois was a first-round draft pick by the Blue Jackets in 2016 and played in Columbus until being traded to the Jets early in the 2020-21 season. He picked up an assist on Connor’s first-period goal.
NOTES: Korpisalo was credited with an assist on Jenner’s empty-net goal. … Columbus native Sean Kuraly played in his 400th NHL game. . Rittich made consecutive starts in goal for the first time since Dec. 18-20. . Former Blue Jacket Sam Gagner was in the Winnipeg lineup in place of Karson Kuhlman, who was a healthy scratch.
Jets: At New Jersey on Sunday.
Blue Jackets: At Dallas on Saturday.
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