Turnovers, turnovers, and more turnovers, but not the tasty kind. That seemed to be the MO for the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night, and they seemed to be happy with it. Playing their second game to the Saint Louis Blues in less than 24 hours, the Jackets just seemed tired. The game had great potential, with Columbus fired up about the hit by the Blue's T.J. Oshie that nailed Columbus' captain Rick Nash, but they just couldn't do anything with the passion. Both teams were fighting to stay in the playoff race, but only the Blues looked like they really wanted it.
Even before the game started, everybody could sense the animosity in the air. Just 20 hours after losing in a shootout to the Blues, the Jackets wanted to grab a victory against their rivals. Additionally, a hit by Oshie against Nash on Saturday night got the Jackets, and their fans, all riled up and ready to fight. This feeling was captured by one fan, as he yelled out prior to the national anthem, "Oshie, you better look out." To me, this encouragement by the fans is exactly what Columbus needs to clench the playoffs.
Unfortunately, however, it didn't seem to be what Columbus needed to win on Sunday night. The first period was, more or less, a slow and sluggish affair. Though there were a few breakaways, and some exciting moments, most of the period was just one of control. Though he endured boos his first shift on the ice, Saint Louis' Oshie scored in the fifth minute to give the Blues a 1-0 lead. This really shut the crowd at Nationwide up. Even with this goal, both teams came out relatively unscathed, with three power play kills apiece.
The second period started off on a good note, but somehow managed to turn bad near the end. The Blues' Brad Winchester got called for interference in the second minute and the Blue Jackets seized this opportunity to tie the game up. In the third minute of the second period, Fedor Tyutin shot a bouncing puck over the glove of Chris Mason, St. Louis' goalkeeper, and was able to tie the game. This got the crowd back into it, and it looked like it would end up as a good game.
Later in the second period, Nash streaked down the ice to the delight of the crowd. He was taken out from behind (much to the displeasure of the crowd) and the Blues got a penalty; however, the Jackets arguably should have had a penalty shot for tripping from behind during a breakaway. The Jackets were unable to convert on this power play. Near the end of the second period, with three minutes remaining, Columbus' goalie Steve Mason attempted to clear the puck out of the zone from behind his own net. He fanned on his attempt, and instead passed the puck straight to Blue's player Brad Boyes, who promptly scored in the empty net. This goal took all energy out of the Blue Jackets, froze Mason up, and silenced the fans. It was the beginning of the end.