The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up their first win of the season on Monday night afternoon thanks to a very eventful 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
For much of the afternoon it looked as if the Blue Jackets were in danger of dropping a third straight game to open the season as they were getting outplayed by the Red Wings over the first half of the game, and found themselves behind on the scoreboard on an early Bobby Ryan goal for Detroit.
But consecutive goals from Oliver Bjorkstrand, Alexandre Texier, and Pierre-Luc Dubois — with the latter two coming just 90 seconds apart in the third period — were enough to help the Blue Jackets put it all together to earn their first two points of the season.
A few things that stood out in this one…
• Dubois found the back of the net. He is going to be the story in Columbus this season due to his desire for a “change of scenery” (translation: He wants traded) and the way it is going to be handled. At one point in the second period he found himself glued to the bench for more than eight minutes before getting more regular playing time in the third period.
It was there that he displayed all of the skills that are going to make him an attractive trade option for teams as he used his speed and power to get behind the Red Wings’ defense to beat Thomas Greiss for his first goal of the season.
That goal came just after Texier had given the Blue Jackets their first lead of the game, and it will officially go in the books as the game-winner.
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• Bjorkstrand finished with a Gordie Howe hat trick for the Blue Jackets, and it is fitting that it happened in Detroit.
His goal tied the game for the Blue Jackets late in the second period, which was followed by him assisting on Texier’s third period goal.
He then found himself in a late game fight with Detroit’s Bobby Ryan (who scored both Detroit goals, giving him three already this season) in the closing minute.
• That was not the only notable fight during that skirmish.
Columbus’ Zach Werenski and Detroit captain Dylan Larkin also dropped the gloves during that mini-line brawl. That fight is noteworthy because Werenski and Larkin are long-time, well known friends going back to their childhoods.
Here is the video.
It is not quite the Primeau vs. Primeau brother bout from back in the day, but does show how there are no friends on the ice once the puck drops.
Adding to the awkwardness? Larkin was able to get tickets for some of Werenski’s friends and family as part of the very small number of people in attendance.
Larkin got tickets to this game for Werenski's family and some friends.
"Once I realized it was him, with everything going on and him getting tickets for my family, you know, my parents being here, my friends … pretty funny just how it all worked out.” #awkward #CBJ
— Brian Hedger (@BrianHedger) January 18, 2021
• Even with the win and the big contributions from Dubois and Bjorkstrand the Blue Jackets still have a long way to go right now. Coach John Tortorella said after the game there was a lot of sloppiness in their overall performance (resulting in some line changes and defense pairing swaps) and that the best game they have played this season was their second game in Nashville (which was a 5-2 loss).
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.