Seattle Kraken vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick & Prediction JANUARY 28th 2024

It has been an up-and-down trip thus far for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who will continue their Western swing with a game Sunday night in Seattle.

The Blue Jackets opened their excursion with a 4-1 loss at Edmonton on Tuesday before rebounding with a 5-2 victory at Calgary on Thursday.

Then came Saturday.

Columbus took a three-goal lead into the third period in Vancouver, only to see the Canucks tie the score with three power-play goals, kill off a five-minute major penalty and then win 5-4 in overtime.

The Blue Jackets also allowed three goals in the third period in Edmonton.

“Frustrating one. Unacceptable by us. It’s happened too many times,” Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner said. “They were able to capitalize on the power play and we weren’t. It’s on us.

“Too many times this year we’ve let off the gas in the third period. Just trying to find a 60-minute game.”

Coach Pascal Vincent said the Blue Jackets got away from their game plan in the third period.

“Just got to keep it simple. Tried to make plays when we didn’t have to,” Vincent said. “There are still too many ups and downs in our games.”

Even worse for the Blue Jackets was that forward Patrik Laine, who seemed near a return after being out since Dec. 14 with a fractured clavicle, was sent home to Columbus on Saturday.

“It’s a setback,” Vincent said. “He’s going to head back to Columbus. It’s just a setback with the injury. He’s not going to be able to play on the trip, so he went back.”

The second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft has played in just 18 games this season, with six goals, three assists an a -10 plus/minus rating.

The Kraken are 1-4-1 since the end of franchise-record streaks of nine consecutive victories and 13 games in a row with at least a point (11-0-2).

They blew a two-goal lead Friday night and lost 4-3 in overtime to visiting St. Louis.

“It’s a tough point to lose,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We played hard, we played a pretty good hockey game. We obviously would like to capitalize on one or two good opportunities that we had, and that can maybe change the game when it’s a one- or a two-goal game.”

Former Blue Jacket Oliver Bjorkstrand, who will be the Kraken’s representative in next week’s All-Star Game, had a goal and an assist.

“When (Bjorkstrand is) hunting the puck the way that he is, his stick becomes so effective,” Hakstol said. “If he’s moving his feet on pucks … I mean, I don’t know how many strips he had (Friday), but he had hit some big ones.”

But Bjorkstrand was only concerned with the final result.

“It’s a game I thought we probably should win. I thought we played good enough,” he said. “Unfortunately they found a way to tie it, and from there we couldn’t really get that last goal.”

Added defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who also tallied: “That’s a tough one. In our own building, we should have been able to lock that one down. Especially playing with the lead at home.”

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping