In the seventh weekly Metropolitan Division snapshot of the 2022-23 season, the New Jersey Devils remain in first place even after the streak ended. The New York Islanders got hot, the New York Rangers became laughable, and the Philadelphia Flyers remained winless. Read on to find out about the week that was and will be for all 8 teams.
November comes to a close this week and December will begin. In this, the seventh weekly snapshot of the Metropolitan Division, the New Jersey Devils are coming into this week in first place. Their hot streak built up a lead so wide that the Carolina Hurricanes and the two New York teams could not catch them after Tuesday’s games. The Devils are now locking up first place finishes for these snapshots earlier and earlier in the week. If the rest of the division is not careful, they may be behind by a far larger margin than they would like. And it is hard to catch up in this league without the team falling apart. Something the Devils are not likely going to do anytime soon. The Devils’ winning streak ended last Wednesday; yet, they followed that first loss since October with two more wins. There is still a cushion for the Devils even with the New York Islanders getting hot. Here is how the division looks this morning:
As everyone in the Metropolitan Division played last night and everyone but the New York Rangers played on Friday night, everyone is off today. The season shall resume on Monday with a varied schedule for all eight teams. Two teams, Carolina and the Washington Capitals, are hitting the road for multiple games. Others are at home or relatively local to home, such as the Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Columbus and the New York Islanders both get a respite in their schedule with two games this week. There are four games within the division and, as ever, they are bolded and highlighted in this schedule:
Here is the week that was and week that will be for all eight teams in the division.
New Jersey Devils
What Happened Last Week: The New Jersey Devils have been on a heater, a hot streak, a wagon, and many other terms this month. They have been perfect all November long going into this week. Would a game against Edmonton on Monday end it? No. Jesper Bratt scored an early power play goal to put the Devils up. Leon Draisaitl scored a power play goal to tie it up. The Devils came out as a force in the second period. Dawson Mercer scored to make it 2-1 with “help” from the Oilers; and Damon Severson finished an amazing rush by Jack Hughes and Bratt to make it 3-1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put the Oilers within one. Which did not last long when Tomas Tatar batted in his own rebound off Stuart Skinner in the air to make it 4-2. Later, Yegor Sharangovich sniped in a shot to make it 5-2. The Devils tied a franchise record for wins in a row with 13. Would a game against Toronto on Wednesday end it? Sadly, yes. A poor start yielded one disallowed goal for Jonas Siegenthaler, a goal to John Tavares, and a soft goal allowed to Pontus Holmberg. A second disallowed goal for Severson did not help and Matt Murray (and a post) stopped all else in the second. A third disallowed goal for Sharangovich during a penalty kill yielded an irate Devils fanbase to hurl drinks and other debris onto the ice. After the clean up, the Devils tried, tried, and tried to score. Dougie Hamilton re-directed in a feed from Fabian Zetterlund to make it 2-1. Despite a crowd willing a six-man Devils team to equalize, it did not happen. The Devils’ historic streak ended at 13 with a 2-1 loss. The response? Get wins, of course. On Black Friday night, the Devils went up to Buffalo. They out-shot the Sabres 16-7 in the first period. Craig Anderson stopped all of them. He would not stop Jack Hughes, Jesper Boqvist, or Tomas Tatar in the second period. Victor Olofsson ripped one past Akira Schmid between the Boqvist and Tatar scores. But that would be it for goals as the Devils rolled on to a 3-1 win. Last night, the Devils hosted Washington. Washington smashed the Devils back in October in their first trip to the Rock. The game would be much different. Vitek Vanecek was excellent throughout the game. Nico Hischier put home a rebound shot after Mercer’s rebound shot from a Hamilton shot to convert a power play and put the Devils up 1-0 in the first. In the second period, it was the Jack Hughes show. Hughes went around Charlie Lindgren and banked one in off his skate to make it 2-0. Later in the second, he scored from behind the goal line with a shot off the side of Lindgren’s helmet and into the net. The off the heezy goal made it 3-0. The Capitals pressed hard and made Vanecek work hard in the third. Against the run of play, Hughes completed a natural hat trick to make it 4-0! Hats, which are allowed to be thrown, were thrown. A Miles Wood penalty led to John Carlson breaking through Vanecek with a shot for a PPG to end the shutout. This not only did not lead to a comeback but Fabian Zetterlund ripped one high to make it 5-1 late. The Devils got revenge for an earlier loss to Washington in this season. The Devils won two straight after a historic winning streak ended. The Devils ended the week at 3-1-0 against a tough run of games on paper. The Devils remain in first place with a lead in the division; six points over the Isles and at least nine over everyone else. You love to see it. Again.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Devils will end their month of November with a game in Manhattan against their hated rivals, the Rangers. This game always has juice. The fact the Devils have had their streak, gained a lot of attention in the hockey and sports world from it, and are ahead of the Rangers adds even more. This should be a fascinating game. And this week really starts a month where the Devils will play more games at home and within in the division. They are not traveling any further than Philadelphia until December 20. By the way, the Devils are traveling to Philadelphia for a game on Saturday. Revenge shall be on the menu as the Flyers put them down 5-2 back in their season opener in October. With the Flyers having since cooled off, revenge may be possible. But it is another rivalry game so who can say how the emotions will impact how things go. Sandwiched in between those two inter-division games against franchise rivals is a home game with Nashville on Thursday. Nashville is trying to sort out their 2022-23 season and have struggled on the road. Plus, the Preds will be playing in Long Island the next night so they cannot go full-force in Newark. The Devils may like their chances to add further pain to their road record. The Devils’ streak may be over but they can still run over teams like a wagon. Betting against them from getting some results is ill-advised even if the streak ended last Wednesday.
New York Islanders
What Happened Last Week: The Islanders went into this week with two straight losses. They found that the best antidote for that are wins this week. On Monday night, the Isles went to Toronto. Noah Dobson started the scoring with a first period goal. The Leafs responded and took the lead in the second period with a power play goal by John Tavares and an even strength goal by Auston Matthews. The 2-1 score held until Josh Bailey tied it up with just under three minutes to play in regulation. Overtime was needed and not all five minutes of it. Anthony Beauvillier ended the game just before the two-minute mark to give the Isles a 3-2 overtime win. After denying a losing streak, the Isles went home to host Edmonton. The Oilers just had no answer for Ilya Sorokin. 49 shots at him, but nothing past him. Meanwhile, a three-goal second period was enough to bury the visitors. Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a shorthanded goal and a power play goal just over two minutes apart to put the Isles up 2-0. Sebastian Aho, the defenseman, made it 3-0 late in the second period. That was more than enough for another win for the Orange and Royal Blue. On Black Friday, the Isles visited the Blue Jackets. It was another close game with a favorable result. Oliver Wahlstrom opened the scoring and Pageau scored again on a power play to put the Isles up 2-0. This lead was erased with two quick goals allowed to Yegor Chinakhov on a 5-on-3 and Kent Johnson on the following 5-on-4. But Brock Nelson turned a Jackets turnover into a shortside riser past Joonas Korpisalo to make it 3-2. The Isles held on to win 3-2 and start a winning streak. The winning continued back in Long Island when they hosted Philadelphia. Adam Pelech opened the scoring in the first period. The Flyers would respond with a Lukas Sedlak goal in the first period and took a 2-1 lead due to Joel Farabee just before the halfway mark of the second period. However, Zach Parise provided a PPG to tie it up going into the third period. There, the Isles took over the game. Nelson scored early. Beauvillier scored on the next shift. Parise scored a second power play goal. The Isles won 5-2. The Islanders swept the week! Their reward is a hold on second place. They are still six points behind the Devils, who have a game in hand on them. But they are the closest to the top for this snapshot.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Islanders will get just two games to play. Not that they are gimmies but they should like their chances in both. The Isles will visit Philadelphia on Tuesday night. With the Flyers not being as hot as they were earlier in the season and the Islanders just putting them down in the third period last night, the Isles could leave Philly with some more points. On Friday, the Islanders will host Nashville. Nashville is still figuring their season out and they still have been unsuccessful on the road. Plus, Nashville will be coming off a game in New Jersey the night before. Islanders fans should hope the Devils give them a rough night on Thursday to add to the fatigue advantage the Isles will have that night. The Islanders may fall a bit in the standings with just two games to play. But if they can get results in both games, they can mitigate any drop. They are hot right now, so two more wins could very well happen.
What Happened Last Week: Carolina entered this week on the heels of two overtime losses. While they got points and won last week at 1-0-2, the hope was to get more wins in this past week. That did not go according to plan. On Monday, the Canes were in Winnipeg. The Jets looked to put away the Canes. Pierre-Luc DuBois scored in the first, Michael Eyssimont scored in the second, and Josh Morrissey made it 3-0 early in the third. With less than five minutes to go, the Hurricanes made a big comeback. Jaccob Slavin scored to make it 3-1. Andrei Svechnikov scored 100 seconds later to make it 3-2. With the goalie pulled, Martin Necas provided the last-minute equalizer. Overtime was earned. And, for the third straight game, the Canes lost in OT. Morrissey finished off the Canes for a 4-3 final score. With a point earned, the Canes returned home to play Arizona. Surely, this would go well. It did – for Arizona. Nick Schmaltz scored early in the first period. Lawson Crouse (twice) and Nick Bjugstad extended the score in the third. No one on Carolina beat Karel Vejmelka. Right before Thanksgiving, the Hurricanes lost 4-0 to Arizona on home ice. Ouch. After Thanksgiving, the Canes had a monumental task: go into Boston and get a win. No one has done that yet this season. Carolina came close, though. They took a 2-0 lead in the first period with a pair of PPGs from Stefan Noesen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. This lead went away due to the efforts of David Krejci, who scored late in the second and past midway in the third period. The score held so overtime was needed. For the fifth straight overtime, Carolina did not score. For the fourth straight overtime, the other team did. David Pastrnak finished the game to keep the Bruins’ home record spotless. The Canes lost 3-2. They headed back home for an afternoon game yesterday against Calgary. Seth Jarvis scored first – only for Adam Ruzicka to tie it up with a PPG late in the first period. Martin Necas scored early in the second period with a PPG – only for Tyler Toffoli to tie it up later. Would Carolina be subject to another overtime period? No. Brett Pesce scored on a power play 8:46 into the third period and the Canes held on to that small lead to the end. They won 3-2 for their first win since last week and split the week’s points with four out of eight earned. 1-1-2 is not the worst set of results. However, it could have been better had one of those two overtimes went Carolina’s way. They could have owned second place instead of hanging out in third just ahead of Pittsburgh and the Rangers.
What’s Coming Up This Week: I hope Canes fans liked that game on Saturday. It was a win, after all. They will not see their team at home until December 15. The Canes are on the road until then. The Hurricanes will visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. With the Pens trying to claw their way up the division and Carolina contending with two teams right around them, this game has some value. Carolina would be smart to prevail in regulation to avoid having the Pens crash their party in the standings. The Hurricanes will then head out to St. Louis on Thursday. The Blues are much better than they were earlier this season. This is by no means an easy game for the Canes. But if anyone can make it one, it is Carolina. The week will end in California on Saturday when the Hurricanes play Los Angeles. Unlike most trips to California, the Canes will not play all three teams on this trip. They played in San Jose way back at the beginning of this season on their first road trip. Anyway, the Kings are also no pushover. The Hurricanes are quite a good team, but as ever, they will need to keep producing results to keep up with the New York teams and Pittsburgh. Nevermind inch closer to New Jersey.
What Happened Last Week: The Penguins are not done and dusted. They went into Winnipeg and won last Saturday. They continued their winning ways into this week. On Sunday, they visited Chicago. This turned out to be a tougher game than anticipated given the Blackhawks’ low expectations for 2022-23. Brock McGinn scored early. The Penguins took a 3-0 lead early in the second period on the strength of goals by Evgeni Malkin and Rickard Rakell. Then Chicago made a comeback. Jujhar Khaira got the B-Hawks on the board. Patrick Kane scored late in the second period. The 3-2 score held until Philipp Kurashev tied it up with less than five minutes to play. Would this game go to overtime? Sidney Crosby said no. He scored just under a minute after the equalizer to put the Pens back on top. Jeff Carter ensured the win with an ENG for a 5-3 final score. After escaping Chicago with a win, the Penguins returned home to host Calgary on Wednesday. This one would be even closer as just two goals would be scored. Jan Rutta scored for Pittsburgh early in the first. Dillon Dube tied it up for Calgary in the second period. Tristan Jarry and Dan Vladar were excellent and denied all else. Forget overtime, a shootout was needed. After two straight rounds of goals, the third round yielded saves. Malkin scored the deciding goal and the Penguins won 2-1 through a shootout. On Friday, the Penguins visited their hated rivals in Philadelphia. The NHL Thanksgiving Showdown turned into a decisive win for the Penguins. Josh Archibald scored in the first and Crosby scored just before the end of the first period. A brace from Ryan Poehling made it 4-0 going into the third period. Kevin Hayes scored a consolation goal as the Pens cruised to a 4-1 win. The Pens must have loved it. Alas, the winning would come to an end on Saturday night. They hosted Toronto and the Leafs just put down the Pens and never looked back. Mitch Marner scored 40 seconds into the game; Holmberg and William Nylander extended the lead in the second period; and not long after Rickard Rakell scored, Auston Matthews made it 4-1 in the third period. The Pens’ winning streak ended with a decisive loss to the Maple Leafs. Still, the Penguins went 3-1-0 in the week, moved past the Rangers to take fourth place, and are in striking distance of third place Carolina. Any news of the Penguins demise was too hasty.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Penguins will be at home all week. Not that it makes their week any easier. First, they will host Carolina on Tuesday night. This is an opportunity to move on up while bringing down a team ahead of them in the division. The problem is that Carolina is a legitimately good team and beating them is harder than one may think. On Thursday, the Penguins will take on Las Vegas. The G-Knights have been fantastic to start this season and returned to their terrifying form from their first few seasons. On Saturday, the Pens will host St. Louis. After a miserable start to their season, the Blues have been hot with several wins in a row. Even if their streak ends by Saturday, the Penguins may wish this game was several weeks earlier. Then again, the Pens were in a winless run then too so perhaps not. The Penguins have an opportunity to help themselves and earn some respect in the process this week. And, perhaps, get up to Carolina in third place.
New York Rangers
What Happened Last Week: The Rangers had a West Coast trip to wrap up before returning to Manhattan after Thanksgiving. They had a back-to-back set in Los Angeles and Anaheim to go through first. The first game in Los Angeles went well. It did not start well with Kevin Fiala scoring 35 seconds into the game and Gabriel Vilardi scoring a PPG later in the first. The Rangers mounted a comeback in the second period. A goal by Braden Schneider started it off. Vincent Trocheck tied it up later in the second period. Kaapo Kakko scored late in the second to make it 3-2. This lead lasted until 6:12 of the third when Sean Walker tied it up for Los Angeles. That did not last as Chris Krieder scored less than a minute later to retake the lead for New York. Kreider put home an empty net goal for a 5-3 win in Los Angeles. The next game was in Anaheim, a team who have yet to win a game in regulation this season. Yes, on November 23, 2022, they have not won a game in regulation. Surely, it would be embarassing to be the team that Anaheim beats in regulation. Barclay Goodrow started off the scoring in the first period, only for Mason McTavish to respond a little later to make it 1-1 after one. Dmitry Kulikov and Troy Terry scored early in the second period to put the Ducks up 3-1. Schneider scored late in the second to put the Rangers within one. New York tried to beat John Gibson again. They could not despite a 17-2 shot advantage in the third period. The Ducks finally won a game in regulation! The Rangers were the ignoble opponents to be beaten. Surely, the Rangers would respond well at home when they would host Edmonton on Sunday. It sure looked that way for two periods. Alexis Lafreniere scored early in the first period. After two disallowed goals, Kreider scored to put the Rangers up 2-0. Julien Gauthier makes it 3-0 less than a minute later. Up three with Igor Shesterkin in net and at home? Surely, the Rangers would seal the deal. Oh, Evan Bouchard scored in the third? No matter. Bouchard scored again? OK, time to tighten up. Wait, Dylan Holloway scored his first ever NHL goal to tie the game? Uh, let’s respond! Let’s attack! Let’s take a penalty where Lafreniere removed Tyson Barrie’s helmet! Wait, take a penalty against Edmonton late in the third? Leon Draisaitl converted it. Rangers choked a three-goal lead to lost 4-3 to Edmonton. The game after losing to Anaheim in regulation. Which came after a closer-than-it-looks 5-3 win in Los Angeles. Are you really, OK, Rangers? You are in the mix in fifth place but you missed a real chance at moving up this week. You also may have others around the league laughing at you. It is deserved. Really, losing to Anaheim in regulation and losing 4-3 after going up 3-0 on Edmonton with a period left to play? Brutal.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The New York Rangers will play four games in six nights in this week coming up; easily the busiest among all eight teams. It is possible they could end up picking up plenty of points in the process though. First, they will host the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have been a force of nature and it is easily New York’s toughest game this week on paper just by the Devils’ stats alone. Add to the fact it is a rivalry game and the Devils have crushed plenty of hot/talented goaltenders and this will be one to watch. After this, the Rangers will have a home-and-home with Ottawa. It is not a back-to-back set; they will go to Ottawa on Wednesday and then host them on Friday. Ottawa is not bad but they have been utterly frustrating to their fans as they keep dropping games. The Rangers can add to their misery. On Saturday, they will host Chicago. The Blackhawks have begun to fade and their road record is not that impressive. While the Rangers can lose to poorer teams (see: San Jose), they should try not to this week. The Rangers can jump up a spot or two this week if they can get the results they should get. As last week showed, they are capable of not getting them so I would not hold out a lot of hope for them.
What Happened Last Week: Washington had a rough week prior to this snapshot. This week would go better up until last night. On Wednesday, the Capitals returned home to play the Flyers. With the two teams close to each other in the standings, this game would cause a real swing in points. Except it was not much of one as it became a three-point game. Which Washington needed. Morgan Frost scored first. Marcus Johansson scored a PPG to tie it up. Patrick Brown scored in the second period to give the Flyers the lead. The Caps needed Sonny Milano, picked up from waivers, to equalize with less than three minutes to go. Alex Ovechkin would save the day and win it in overtime for a 3-2 final score. The win ended the slide for Washington, but handing Philly a point did not give them a lot of room. That room would come after Friday’s game. The Caps hosted Calgary. Darcy Kuemper was perfect as he stopped all 32 shots. T.J. Oshie’s first period goal would be enough for the win. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a beauty and Ovechkin on a power play made it a 3-0 final score. A strong win at home. Then the Caps went to New Jersey on Saturday night. They crushed New Jersey with a four-goal second period in a 6-2 win back in October in Newark. They would not repeat it. Despite creating plenty of looks and rushing back and forth, ex-Caps goaltender Vitek Vanecek was sensational at denying Washington. Meanwhile, Nico Hischier started the scoring by putting in a rebound past Charlie Lindgren. In the second period, Jack Hughes went round Lindgren to score off his skate and then scored from behind the goal line off Lindgren’s helmet and into the net. The Devils were up 3-0. The Caps pushed hard – only for Hughes to bury a 2-on-1 counter-attack for the natural hat trick. A Miles Wood penalty led to a John Carlson PPG to end the shutout bid. But that would be a consolation goal. And Washington gave up a fifth goal to Zetterlund to end the week with a sad 5-1 loss. The week was not sad; they went 2-1-0. Just staying two points ahead of Philadelphia in sixth place is not exactly what they hoped from in bouncing back from the prior week.
What’s Coming Up This Week: Washington started a road trip on Saturday night in New Jersey. The real trip begins this week. They are heading out to the Northwestern part of the league. They are going to Vancouver on Tuesday night. A game that should yield a result given how poor the Canucks have been. Then they are going to Seattle on Thursday night. The Kraken have glowed up in their second NHL season. That will not be simple for the Caps. On Saturday, Washington will head into Alberta and visit Calgary. Like the Caps, the Flames are trying to sort their season out. I would think the Flames would some revenge after the Caps just shut them out last Friday. It could be another challenging game. Washington needs to find ways to get results if they want to pull themselves up from the bottom half of this division anytime soon. They have to do it away from home, where they are 2-7-2 for the season so far. Good luck.
What Happened Last Week: The Philadelphia Flyers entered this four-games-in-six-days week with a six-game winless streak. They would not end it in this week. First off, Calgary in Philly on Monday. Jonathan Huberdeau and Dillon Dube put the Flyers down early. Tanner Laczysnki cut the lead to 2-1 after the first period. The Flames were not deterred. Rasmus Andersson scored in the second period to make it 3-1. Joel Farabee scored to make it 3-2. Alas, a pair of ENGs from Blake Coleman and Trevor Lewis sealed Philly’s fate to lose 5-2. Second, Flyers at Washington on Wednesday. Winning in D.C. would not only end the slide but make a move for sixth. Morgan Frost put the Flyers up first. Marcus Johansson tied it. Patrick Brown put the Flyers up 2-1 and they held on – until Sonny Milano scored with just under three minutes left. In 3-on-3, Ovechkin ended it for a 3-2 OT loss. A point was earned but it was an eighth winless game in a row. After Thanksgiving and third, the Flyers hosted Pittsburgh. Their hated rivals at home with a full crowd for the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown? That could flip the script. It did not. They were jobbed out as the Penguins went up by four and never looked back. Josh Archibald and Sidney Crosby scored in the first period, Ryan Poehlng scored two in the second, and a Kevin Hayes goal in the third only denied a shutout loss at home to their hated rivals. A crushing 4-1 defeat for a ninth straight winless game. Fourth and finally, the Flyers went to Long Island last night. The Flyers would make it close for two periods. Lukas Sedlak answered an Adam Pelech goal in the first period. Farabee made it 2-1 until Zach Parise converted a PPG to tie it up in the second period. Then the third period came and Brock Nelson, Anthony Beauvillier, and Parise’s second PPG of the game pulled the game away. The Flyers lost 5-2 for a tenth winless game. The Flyers fell to seventh place with a 0-3-1 week. While they are just two points behind Washington, it seems like a mountain to climb right now what with all of these losses. Forget the standings or whatever the goal of this season is. Philly just needs to win a dang game right now.
What’s Coming Up This Week: The Flyers will be at home all week to try to win a dang game for the first time since November 8. They can do some damage within the division in the process. On Tuesday night, they will host the New York Islanders. This can be a game that helps out Carolina, New Jersey, the Rangers, and Pittsburgh if the Flyers can take it in regulation. Otherwise, well, the Isles will benefit and remain in the upper half. The Flyers will get a surging Tampa Bay team on Thursday night. While the Lightning are not so successful on the road, they are in the process of catching Toronto for second in the Atlantic. It will be another chance for the Flyers to play spoilers. On Saturday, the Flyers will host the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers beat the Devils in their season opener way back in October. Since then, well, one team has been hot and the other was warm for a bit before going ice cold in a long winless streak. The Flyers can at least try to show that, perhaps, they have their number in a rivalry game. The Flyers will have the home advantage in all three games. We shall see whether it means that much this week. Again: the goal is to win a single game. Will they do it?
Columbus Blue Jackets
What Happened Last Week: The Blue Jackets had their week cut short. They were to play in Nashville last night. However, a water main break at Bridgestone Arena on Friday led to the NHL postponing Nashville’s games on Friday and Saturday night. This meant Columbus’ four-games-in-seven-nights became three-games-in-seven nights to end a six-game homestand. The week started off quite well. After a 6-1 loss to Detroit, they took out their frustrations on Florida. Yes, Florida. While Matthew Tkachuk opened the scoring, Yegor Chinakhov tied it up in the second. The Jackets took a 2-1 lead early in the second with a PPG by Kent Johnson. Alas, Aaron Ekblad tied it up late in the second. Columbus pulled away in the third. A shorthanded goal by Sean Kuraly broke the tie; Johnny Gaudreau made it 4-2, and Boone Jenner put home a PPG late in the third to make it 5-2. A Colin White (no, not that one) goal shortly thereafter just made it a 5-3 win for Columbus instead of 5-2. Still a win. This did not carry into Wednesday’s game against Montreal. After a scoreless two periods, Columbus broke through with the game’s first goal by Mathieu Olivier. Only for Arber Xhekaj to tie it up about 90 seconds later and David Savard to break the tie less than a minute later. A Sean Monahan empty netter sealed a 3-1 loss for Columbus. In their final home game – and game of the week – the Blue Jackets hosted the New York Islanders. This was close. The Isles went up initially with a late first period goal by Oliver Wahlstrom and J-G Pageau converting a power play in the second period. Columbus roared back with a pair of PPGs less than a minute apart. Chinakhov converted a 5-on-3 and Johnson converted the following 5-on-4 situation. 2-2 going into the third period. The only breakthrough came from Brock Nelson beating Joonas Korpisalo shortside and high after a Jackets turnover in their own end. That held up as the game winner. The Blue Jackets lost 3-2. Columbus went 1-2-0 and continue to remain at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. They are four points behind Philadelphia. If six straight home games was not enough to help the Jackets get back on track, then what will it take?
What’s Coming Up This Week: Columbus will just have two games to play this week after a three-game week. They can recover a little bit before the schedule picks up in December. On Monday, they will host the terrifyingly terrific Las Vegas Golden Knights. They are back and they are a handful for anyone. On Friday, the Blue Jackets will head up North to Manitoba. They will play Winnipeg, who remains one of the better home teams in the league and is another quality opponent. The Blue Jackets will need to put in strong efforts in both games to come away with something. At this point, though, does it matter much? Well, possibly getting past Philadelphia seems more possible than ever. There is that if they need something to strive for.
That was the seventh Weekly Metropolitan Division Snapshot of the 2022-23 season. What do you expect to happen in this week coming up? Will the Devils remain in first for another snapshot? Will you be tired of that soon because I am not? Will the Islanders be able to ward off Carolina, Pittsburgh, and the Rangers to maintain a hold on second place? Can Washington follow Pittsburgh’s lead and build on a winning week? Will the league laugh at the Rangers for losing in regulation to Anaheim and blowing a 3-0 lead at home to Edmonton? Will Philadelphia win a game? Can Columbus climb a little closer to seventh place? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the eight teams in the week that was and the week ahead in the comments. Thank you for reading.