National Hockey League
Columbus 3, Florida 2
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 28, 2021
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Referees: Wes McCauley, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen: Shandor Alphonso, Tony Sericolo
Attendance: N/A

Alexandre Texier scored the shootout's only goal on a brilliant, one-handed shot in the fourth round Thursday to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win and hand the visiting Florida Panthers their first defeat.

After Florida goalie Chris Driedger stopped Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Max Domi, Texier pushed a one-hander between Driedger's pads. Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins then stuffed Patric Hornqvist to preserve the win. It was the first career attempt in a shootout for third-year center Texier, 21.

Merzlikins also denied Anthony Duclair, Jonathan Huberdeau and Frank Vatrano to improve to 2-1-1 with the win.

Mikko Koivu scored his first goal for Columbus, Domi tallied on the power play and Merzlikins stopped 33 of 35 shots for the Blue Jackets, who earned points for the sixth straight game (3-0-3).

A native of Columbus, Jack Roslovic made his Blue Jackets debut by centering the third line after being acquired from Winnipeg on Saturday along with Patrik Laine for center Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Florida's Carter Verhaeghe and Eetu Loustarinen scored goals, Duclair produced his team-leading fifth assist and Driedger made 29 saves on 31 shots.

Defenseman Markus Nutivaara, who played the past four seasons for Columbus, had an assist in his Florida debut, while Panthers right winger Brett Connolly played in his 500th NHL game.

On Tuesday in the teams' first meeting, the Blue Jackets led early and late, gave up the game-tying goal with three seconds remaining and lost 4-3 in a five-round shootout on Hornqvist's game winner.

Two days later, Koivu won a board battle in the defensive end, then was rewarded when he received a pass from Eric Robinson, who circled behind Driedger's net and fed the puck from the right side through the blue paint.

Trailing down the left side, Koivu -- acquired in the offseason after playing 15 seasons for the Minnesota Wild -- drilled the game's first marker at 17:03 of the first period.

Also a former member of the Blue Jackets, Duclair intercepted Texier's outlet pass late in the second, put a shot on Merzlikins and Verhaeghe scored on the put-back to tie it at 1 at 17:14.

Domi scored his first as a Blue Jacket on Columbus' second power-play, firing home the go-ahead goal just five seconds into a man advantage at 6:19 of the third. He won the faceoff and took a pass from Zach Werenski.

Loustarinen tied it at 2 when he scored for the second time this season on a rebound at 12:56.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Florida   Columbus
Eetu Luostarinen 1 Points Max Domi 1
Eetu Luostarinen 1 Goals Max Domi 1
Anthony Duclair 1 Assists Dean Kukan 1
N/A Power Play Goals Max Domi 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Chris Driedger .935 Save Percentage Elvis Merzlikins .943
Chris Driedger 29 Saves Elvis Merzlikins 33
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Florida 35 2 0-1 2-3 10 31
Columbus 31 3 1-3 1-1 6 26
Upcoming Games
  • Columbus will play their next game on the road against Chicago. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .600 after a loss.
  • Florida will play their next game on the road against Detroit. The Panthers have a W/L % of .667 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.