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Golden Knights Lose 4-1 To Blue Jackets In William Karlsson’s Return To Columbus
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Las Vegas–Tonight was the return of former Blue Jackets forward William Karlsson as the Vegas Golden Knights took on Columbus for the final time this season.
In their last affair at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights defeated the Blue Jackets by a final score of 6-3. Karlsson ended up scoring his 26th and 27th goal of the season in the victory.
The Golden Knights entered the second contest on their 5 game road swing with a 3-2 win against the New Jersey. In that matchup newcomer Tomas Tatar netted his first goal with the Golden Knights 3 games after being dealt at the deadline by the Red Wings.
For the Columbus Blue Jackets having coming back from being in the Bay Area beating the San Jose Sharks 4-2, opened the scoring after the opening face off of the contest. Getting the Blue Jackets on the board first 16 seconds in was former Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin.
Panarin ended up capitalizing off of a rebound opportunity and from a sharp angle position scored on Marc-André Fleury for the early 1-0 lead on the Golden Knights. The opening marker gave Panarin his 21st of the season with Columbus.
Vegas kept Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo very busy in the opening period as he had to make 15 stops.
90 seconds into the middle frame of the contest the Golden Knights would tie the game up at 1. David Perron was patient with the puck and found Erik Haula in the slot right in front of Korpisalo and ended his shutout bid as his wrist shot beat the 23-year-old stick side. Haula recorded his 24th of the year on that scoring play.
8:01 into the second period the Blue Jackets retook the lead on the Golden Knights as it was Panarin setting up Zach Werenski up top for a one timer blast that Fleury could not stop as the puck went over his right shoulder for a 2-1 Columbus lead. Werenski earned his 13th of the season on that drive.
Less than 2 minutes after Werenski gave Columbus the go ahead goal on Vegas, Blue Jackets defenseman Ian Cole would extend his teams lead with the knuckle puck goal that fooled Fleury that made it a 3-1 game. This gave Cole his 4th of the campaign and 1st as a member of the Blue Jackets since being picked up.
Late in the 3rd period, Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant pulled Fleury for the sixth attacker as Vegas was down by two goals. Shortly after Fleury was pulled the Blue Jackets ended up scoring an empty netter by Pierre-Luc Dubois as he put the final dagger of night of Vegas as Columbus came away with a 4-1 win. Luc-Dubios’s empty goal would put him at 15 on the year.
Korpisalo had a great night in net for the Columbus Blue Jackets as the 23-year old from Pori, Finland stopped 36 shots and recorded a .974 save percentage.
Fleury finished off with a sub-par performance backstopping the Golden Knights with his 17 save night at an .850 save percentage. This would be his 5h loss against the Blue Jackets in his NHL career.
The former Blue Jackets Karlsson was -2 and had a single shot on net in the loss.
In speaking with members of the media at Nationwide Arena, a dissatisfied Haula who was the only goal scorer for the Golden Knights commented on the 4-1 loss at the hands of the Blue Jackets.
“This is the hardest time of year when you get to March… I feel like we have another level we need to get to.” Haula said on the loss to Columbus.
Vegas remained at 42-19-5 in the standings while still holding onto the 2nd overall spot in the Western Conference tied with Winnipeg in points at 89.
With three games to go on the road trip Vegas record would be 1-1. Their next stop is Detroit at the newly state of art Little Caesars Arena which will be Tatar’s first time back since the NHL Trade Deadline.
3 Stars Of The Game
Columbus Blue Jackets: Joonas Korpisalo (36 saves)
Columbus Blue Jackets: Artemi Panarin (1 goal and 2 assists)
Columbus Blue Jackets: Pierre-Luc Dubois (1 goal and 2 assists)
Honorable Mention: Vegas Golden Knights Erik Haula (1 goal)