Oliver Bjorkstrand recorded his second two-goal performance in four games as the host Columbus Blue Jackets skated to a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
Defensemen Vladislav Gavrikov and Zach Werenski joined Gustav Nyquist by scoring goals and Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have won a season-high four in a row and boosted their point streak to seven games (5-0-2).
Defenseman Will Butcher scored and Gilles Senn turned aside 35 shots in his first NHL start for the Devils, who fell to 2-8-1 in their last 11 games following their eighth straight loss (0-7-1) to Columbus.
Bjorkstrand wasted little time extending his point streak to four games after one-timing a nifty feed from Boone Jenner just 26 seconds into the game. The assist extended Jenner’s point streak to four games.
Bjorkstrand doubled the advantage at 8:06 of the first period after converting from the slot for his team co-leading 12th goal of the season and fifth in four games. The multi-goal performance was the sixth of the career for the 24-year-old Dane.
Butcher scored after wiring a shot from the left circle inside the near post to halve the deficit with 4:32 remaining in the first period. Butcher’s goal was his fourth of the season and first since Nov. 23, a stretch of 12 consecutive games without a goal.
Bjorkstrand’s bid for a hat trick was denied following a 3-on-2 rush in the second period. He was able to corral his own rebound, however he was unable to get much on his shot.
Gavrikov beat Senn from the high slot to regain Columbus’ two-goal advantage with 6:47 remaining in the second period. The goal was Gavrikov’s third of the season and second in eight games.
The Devils began to lose their composure in the third period, with Kyle Palmieri compounding a tripping penalty by arguing with an official. Palmieri’s continued complaining earned him an additional unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, although the Blue Jackets were unable to convert on the power play.
Werenski and Nyquist each scored into an empty net to seal the win.
Columbus’ Ryan MacInnis, the son of Hall of Fame defenseman Al MacInnis, registered four shots on goal in his NHL debut Saturday.
—Field Level Media