The Blue Jackets, dear friends, are rolling.
Two nights after their depth forwards powered them to a huge win over the Montreal Canadiens, their top players showed up big in Nashville – a place that hasn't been kind to them over the years.
They scored three times in the first period, twice more in the second, and played solid defense in the third period (while controlling play) to pick up two important points at Bridgestone Arena. It's their fourth win in a row.
Cam Atkinson scored twice (tying Rick Nash for the Blue Jackets' single-season goals record) and had a couple of chances to record the hat trick and take the mantle himself, and Artemi Panarin set the table four times in another crucial win.
Between the pipes, Sergei Bobrovsky out-dueled Juuse Saros to boost the Blue Jackets.
Atkinson opened the scoring 50 seconds into the game. Panarin made two goals happen later in the period, and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored a huge goal late in the first to give Columbus a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes. Boone Jenner and Atkinson each scored in the second period to give them a 5-2 advantage going into the third period, where Columbus locked it down with a stern and stingy defensive effort.
"I think we're playing looser offensively right now. The monkey is off the back, the piano, whatever you want to call it. We want to keep this good thing going."– Matt Duchene
With the Montreal Canadiens winning 3-1 in Winnipeg, this win was paramount for the Blue Jackets to keep pace in the Wild Card race and hold on to the second position in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets have four games remaining, while the Canadiens have three.
Ryan Murray remains out of the lineup with an upper body injury.
The Blue Jackets complete a back-to-back set tomorrow night against the Buffalo Sabres, game time is 6 p.m. ET at First Niagara Center.
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