Riley Nash’s first goal as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets proved to be the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Thursday.
At the 4:34 mark of the second period, Nash collected his breakthrough goal after redirecting a Zach Werenski attempt toward the net. Nash also recorded an assist, giving him as many points on Thursday as he had in his previous 23 games since joining the Blue Jackets as a free agent last summer.
Pierre-Luc Dubois had two assists for Columbus, giving the center 14 points (six goals, eight assists) over his last nine games.
The Wild opened the scoring on Mikael Granlund’s goal 7:46 into the first period, though Columbus broke the game open with the next four goals, including Markus Hannikainen’s score 13:18 into the first.
After Cam Atkinson’s seven-game goal streak was ended on Monday, the winger got back on the board with a power play score just over a minute into the second period. Atkinson now has 10 goals in his last nine games and a team-leading 16 goals on the season.
Artemi Panarin scored at 11:24 of the second period to establish the Blue Jackets’ three-goal lead, though Zach Parise scored less than a minute later to cut the lead. Parise’s wraparound effort led to his 12th goal of the season.
Minnesota couldn’t muster any more offense against Sergei Bobrovsky, who saved 23 of 25 shots to record his ninth win in 12 career games against the Wild. Bobrovsky’s 1.80 goals-against average against Minnesota is his second-lowest career GAA against any opponent.
Columbus improved to 8-2-1 over its last 11 games. Seven of the Blue Jackets’ next nine games are on their home ice, giving the team a strong opportunity to extend its lead atop the Metropolitan Division.
After a hot stretch that saw Minnesota win 10 of 12 games, the Wild have now dropped five of their last eight contests.
—Field Level Media