National Hockey League
Columbus 2, Vancouver 1
When: 10:00 PM ET, Sunday, March 8, 2020
Where: Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Tom Chmielewski, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Travis Gawryletz, Bevan Mills
Attendance: 18871

Elvis Merzlikins won in his first start since returning from injury Sunday, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The 25-year-old rookie withstood 27 shots to stop the Blue Jackets' losing skid at two games, capping a three-game road trip through Western Canada. Prior to the win over the Canucks, Columbus was 0-3-4 in its last seven road games.

Merzlikins, who missed four games with a concussion, dressed Saturday as backup to Joonas Korpisalo in the Blue Jackets' 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Emil Bemstrom and Eric Robinson scored for the Blue Jackets (33-22-15), while Elias Pettersson responded for the Canucks (35-27-6) with his 27th goal of the season. Thatcher Demko turned away 20 shots for Vancouver.

The Canucks struggled to seal up the middle in their own end. On the first Blue Jackets goal, Pierre-Luc Dubois freewheeled around the back of the net and sent a slick pass to Bemstrom in the slot. Bemstrom had an open shot to beat Demko at 7:18 of the second period.

With just 27 seconds left in the second, the Canucks failed several times to clear the puck. David Savard dug the puck out of the corner and found Robinson in the high slot. With Riley Nash screening Demko, Robinson fired a shot into the upper corner.

The Canucks cut the lead in half at 8:19 of the third. Pettersson was tagged with an elbowing penalty, taking down Robinson in the Blue Jackets end. As Pettersson burst out of the penalty box at the end of the Blue Jackets' unsuccessful power play, he chased down a loose puck, got the breakaway and went five-hole on Merzlikins.

The Blue Jackets survived a Canucks power play at 11:10 when Bemstrom got caught for holding Quinn Hughes.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Columbus   Vancouver
Emil Bemstrom 1 Points Elias Pettersson 1
Emil Bemstrom 1 Goals Elias Pettersson 1
Pierre-Luc Dubois 1 Assists Oscar Fantenberg 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Elvis Merzlikins .963 Save Percentage Thatcher Demko .909
Elvis Merzlikins 26 Saves Thatcher Demko 20
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Columbus 22 2 0-2 3-3 6 32
Vancouver 27 1 0-3 2-2 4 29
Upcoming Games
  • Vancouver will play their next game at home against NY Islanders. The Canucks have a W/L % of .571 after a win and .455 after a loss.
  • Columbus will play their next game at home against Pittsburgh. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .531 after a win and .421 after a loss.