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Game #46 Recap: Blue Jackets Start Fast, Roll Past Devils, 4-1

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Columbus picks up its fourth win in a row

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

A three-goal first period helped the Columbus Blue Jackets earn a 4-1 home win over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena. The victory marked the fourth straight for the Blue Jackets, who used 29 saves from the suddenly-hot Joonas Korpisalo to secure the result.

Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois scored for Columbus. Panarin, Atkinson and PLD each picked up an assist for a trio of multi-point nights. Blake Coleman scored for New Jersey.

The Blue Jackets enjoyed a 34-30 shot advantage and held edges in 5v5 CF% (50.54% to 49.46%), FF% (55.88% to 44.12%) and scoring chances (24 to 20, 8 to 5 high danger), according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

First Period

The Jackets wasted no time in jumping on the Devils. Just 45 seconds after the opening faceoff, Cam Atkinson redirected home a Pierre-Luc Dubois feed for his 27th of the year:

Blue Jackets 1, Devils 0, 19:15 left in the first period

Less than two minutes later, Josh Anderson found Boone Jenner open in front of the New Jersey net to extend the lead. Anderson was a force early on, creating another great chance for himself from the forecheck soon after the goal.

Blue Jackets 2, Devils 0, 17:32 left in the first period

The Devils stabilized their listing ship and actually managed to take the lead in shots as they looked to cut into the lead. The Jackets had other ideas late in the period, however.

PLD won a draw to Atkinson, who found David Savard along the boards. Savard found enough room near the corner to shovel a backhand pass to Panarin, who slammed it past Kinkaid for a 3-0 lead late in the frame. It looked like the Devils started to fly the zone even though they hadn’t won possession, leaving Panarin all alone in front.

Blue Jackets 3, Devils 0, 2:40 left in the first period

First period chili.

Kevin Stenlund went to the box for holding in the period’s final minute. Joonas Korpisalo made some timely saves and the teams headed to the break with Columbus ahead, 3-0.

Second Period

Columbus killed the rest of the penalty without incident thanks in part to a huge save from Korpisalo. With four seconds left on the advantage, Damon Severson held Nick Foligno for a penalty and complained to the official about it, earning an additional unsportsmanlike conduct minor.

The Blue Jackets made the most of the first penalty. Dubois, after receiving a Zach Werenski pass, waited for Nick Foligno to screen Kinkaid before he let a wrister fly. The puck found the corner for PLD’s 17th of the year and an elusive power play tally.

Blue Jackets 4, Devils 0, 18:15 left in the second period

If you’re keeping score, that was four goals allowed on 11 shots for Keith Kinkaid.

With 8:27 left in the second, Seth Jones was called for delay of game when he was shoved into the net and knocked it off its moorings. The best chance for either team actually came from Boone Jenner, who got a clear look—but no goal—from a shorthanded 2-on-1.

Shortly after the penalty’s expiration, Kyle Palmieri received a two minute minor for goaltender interference, putting the CBJ power play back to work.

The shorthanded Devils missed a wide-open net on a 2-on-1 similar to Jenner’s a few minutes earlier, and the Blue Jackets struggled to establish much in the New Jersey end for the rest of the advantage.

New Jersey ended the shutout bid with 1:36 left before intermission. A Devils Mirfaceoff win went back to Mirco Mueller for a point shot, and Blake Coleman redirected the puck past Korpisalo.

Blue Jackets 4, Devils 1, 1:36 left in the second period

The second would end with the 4-1 score and each team tallying 22 shots apiece.

Third Period

The Devils, with 20 minutes in front of them before a day of rest, began to throw more chances at the Blue Jackets’ net.

Kevin Stenlund had a look at his first career NHL goal, only to see Kinkaid reach back and glove the puck off the line.

Unlike recent games, Columbus continued to attack and didn’t allow any late-game theatrics from their opponent. Korpisalo slammed the door as the home side put the squeeze on New Jersey to secure the win.

Final Thoughts

  • It’s nice to have a simple, drama-free 4-1 win. Would’ve been nice for Korpisalo to pick up the shutout, but the two points are more important.
  • Speaking of points, Nashville has taken Washington to the woodshed after two periods as of press time. If Washington loses, the Blue Jackets will be tied for first in the Metropolitan Division (flaps arms).
  • Not bad:
  • The CBJ went 1-for-3 on the power play. That’s good! Combine that with 2-for-2 on the penalty kill, and that’s quite a feather in the special teams’ kepi.
  • John Tortorella spread the ice time around tonight because he could afford to. The fourth line saw almost double the paltry time it played last Thursday against Nashville, and stars like Panarin and Jones played under their TOI averages as well.
  • Panarin is on a tear. Four straight games with a goal and he’s got 52 points in 44 games. Unreal.
  • Also good:
  • Columbus is back at home on Friday to host Montreal at 7 p.m. They’ll be in Minnesota the next night to face the Wild.