COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Blue Jackets roll into their lengthy winter break after six weeks of stable play and a season-high six-game win streak.
Columbus went backwards and forwards with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night time earlier than Oliver Bjorkstrand’s second purpose of the sport with 5:38 left gave the Blue Jackets the lead and younger goalie Elvis Merzlikins held on the remainder of the way in which to seal the 4-Three win.
It’s been fairly a turnaround for the Blue Jackets. They’re 16-2-Four since Dec. 9 though as many as 10 gamers have been out with accidents at anybody time — together with Bjorkstrand, who has had a pair of two-goal video games in a row since being sidelined 13 video games with a rib/indirect harm.
“They need to really feel actual good about themselves,” Columbus coach John Tortorella mentioned because the group breaks for the All-Star Recreation after which the NHL-required five-day hiatus. They do not play once more for 10 days.
After sinking to close the underside of the Metropolitan Division, the Blue Jackets at the moment are within the second Jap Division wildcard place.
“You’ve bought to be sure to don’t suppose an excessive amount of concerning the break coming after,” Bjorkstrand mentioned. “You’ve bought to complete the job, and I feel we did an excellent job sticking with it tonight. Simply discovered a option to get again within the sport each time we bought behind and simply saved going.”
Seth Jones and Gustav Nyquist additionally scored for the Blue Jackets, and Pierre-Luc Dubois tied a career-high with three assists. Merzlikins stopped 27 pictures to win his fifth straight begin.
Kyle Connor had a purpose and an help, and Mason Appleton and Neal Pionk additionally scored, and Broissoit had 25 saves for Winnipeg, which limps in to the break after shedding each video games of a back-to-back. The Jets have misplaced 4 straight and are 4-9-2 of their final 15.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice mentioned the plan is straightforward: “Get the hell residence and don’t expend 10 extra minutes fascinated about this sport. Recuperate.”
The Jets scored on their first shot 4:38 into the sport when Appleton jumped on a free puck within the slot and rifled a shot previous Merzlikins’ glove.
The Blue Jackets tied it rapidly when Jones bought a drop cross from Nick Foligno on the left wing, drove in exhausting and slipped a shot between Brossoit’s pads. The purpose was the primary for the All-Star defenceman in 23 video games.
Connor put the Jets up 2-1 late within the first when he deflected in Anthony Bitetto’s shot from the blue line.
Bjorkstrand bought his first of the sport to tie the rating once more early within the second interval after a backwards and forwards trade with Dubois.
Eight seconds into an influence play late within the second, Pionk discovered the again of the online by way of site visitors from the purpose to place the Jets up 3-2. Columbus answered with a power-play purpose of its personal, with Nyquist diving to faucet in free puck within the blue paint.
Bjorkstand broke the tie late with a top-shelf shot over the Brossoit’s shoulder.
“That is about an ideal shot,” Maurice acknowledged.
The Jets weren’t altogether sad with the way in which they performed the final two nights.
“We got here out proper,” Appleton mentioned. “Scoring the primary purpose was massive. We performed our sport. We performed lots of good hockey, however now we have a few issues to scrub up within the impartial zone. This one stings.”
NOTES: Columbus F Sonny Milano was a wholesome scratch and was absent on an unspecified private matter. … Dubois has 10 factors in his final 9 video games. … Bjorkstrand is the primary performed in Columbus historical past to have three mulitple-goal video games in three consecutive appearances. He had two targets on Dec. 21 earlier than lacking the 13-game stretch with an harm.
Jets: After the All-Star break and league-mandated winter break, they will host Boston on Jan. 31.
Blue Jackets: Additionally with back-to-back breaks, they will play subsequent at Buffalo on Feb. 1.
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