It wasn't the greatest start to the season for Cam Atkinson.
He was goalless in six games before Tuesday's tilt against the Florida Panthers, and it was looking like a goal wasn't going to come for him in that game, either.
Then, with the Blue Jackets and Panthers knotted at 2-2 early in the third period, he found himself with a bit of space while killing a penalty and ripped the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky, who got a piece of it but was unable to put it wide.
Both Atkinson and the Blue Jackets are hoping that the goal will open the floodgates, especially for a team that struggled to score last year and isn't doing too much better this year.
"I think during the last couple games, I've taken some strides. I've been shooting the puck, wanting the puck...it's hard to score goals in this league," said Atkinson after the game. "If I'm not getting chances, then I'm obviously not doing the right things that make me successful. I feel like the last couple of games I got back to that, and I have to continue to get in those hard areas where I score most of my goals."
The Blue Jackets need Atkinson to build off of his performance on Saturday. The 31-year-old has 40 game-winning goals for Columbus. Last year, in the 44 games that Atkinson played, the Blue Jackets were 22-15-7. In those 22 wins, Atkinson had nine goals. In those 15 losses, he had just two. It's safe to say that as Atkinson goes, so go the Blue Jackets.
He continued: "[Foligno] made a really good play to me. I'll take one of those and hopefully move on and start scoring some more goals."
He'll have another opportunity to get on the board tonight against the Panthers.