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With that said…are you sitting down?
The Blue Jackets scored six goals. They scored three in the second period to blow the game open and make up for weeks of offensive struggles – and in the process, picked up two points in a huge divisional game in front of a sold-out crowd at Nationwide Arena.
Understatement of the year, but the Blue Jackets needed a game like this.
Pierre-Luc Dubois opened the scoring in the first period, cashing in a great feed from Artemi Panarin, who once again carved up the Devils after his five-assist game in Newark back in December. That’s goals in consecutive games for Dubois, who was really good in this game tonight.
The second period is one the Blue Jackets had been waiting for. Panarin cashed a rebound in front of the net to make it 2-0, then Josh Anderson scored his team-leading 17th of the season after a delicious dash 150 feet up the ice that resulted in a top-corner snipe over Keith Kinkaid. Oliver Bjorkstrand, who’s been making his case for more ice time, capped off a wild second period with a wicked shot past Kinkaid’s ear that sent the Jackets into the break with a commanding 4-0 lead.
It’s the first time since Dec. 29 that the Blue Jackets scored three goals in a period and had a two-goal lead. Coincidentally, Dec. 29 was the last time they scored four goals in a game (they lost in Ottawa that night).
Also encouraging for the Blue Jackets was no let-up in the third period. With a comfortable lead and a lot of items checked off their list of needs, they just kept going. Credit the Devils for mailing it in after two periods, but the Blue Jackets had a lot of guys going the right way tonight.
Nick Foligno and Matt Calvert (power play) scored third-period goals for the Blue Jackets, who stretched their lead to 6-0 before New Jersey ruined Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout bid with 3:34 remaining.
The Blue Jackets (28-23-4) snapped a miserable five-game losing streak with tonight's win, and got themselves back in decent position in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
The lone name on the Blue Jackets' injury list is defenseman Ryan Murray, who has been skating (recently with full gear) and joined the team for a practice last week. There's no timetable for a return to action.
The Blue Jackets begin a busy week with yet another Metropolitan Division clash on Tuesday in Brooklyn against the Islanders. They'll play games Tuesday, Wednesday (at Toronto), Friday (vs. Philadelphia) and Sunday (vs. Pittsburgh).