Blue Jackets sweep series from Coyotes with 4-1 win
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Although the Columbus Blue Jackets didn’t unleash the barrage of shots on goal they did two nights earlier in Phoenix, they had more than enough go into the net Monday night.
Sam Gagner had two goals and two assists to help the Blue Jackets beat the Arizona Coyotes for the second time in three days, 4-1. On Saturday the Blue Jackets had hammered Arizona goaltender Mike Smith with a franchise-record 60 shots in a 3-2 shootout victory.
Columbus needed only 34 this time, with Arizona’s backup goalie Louis Domingue saving 30.
“It’s a fun team to be a part of,” said Gagner, signed as a free agent last summer. “I think we’re doing a pretty good job of forgetting anything that happened the day before, just moving on and just having a good mindset about it. We’re a confident group, and hopefully we can keep going here.”
Nick Foligno and Zach Werensky also scored for the Blue Jackets, who won for the fourth straight time and for the ninth time in their last 12 games. Columbus picked up its 500th win in franchise history in sweeping the two-game season series with the Coyotes.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 17 shots for the Blue Jackets.
Columbus leads the NHL in power-play goal percentage. After going 0 for 5 Saturday, the Blue Jackets were 2 for 6 with the man advantage Monday. Arizona had a total of eight penalties, including three in a chippy third period. Columbus had only three for the game.
“Every time we got our footing a little bit we’d take another penalty to put us behind,” Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. “It’s a good team on the power play, and we gave them too many tonight.”
Arizona took advantage of its only power play, striking first 9:28 into the game when Alex Goligoski fed a pass to Tobias Reider, who slammed it past Bobrovsky’s glove side from the slot.
The Blue Jackets tied it on a power play 2:11 later when the puck deflected off Domingue’s left skate and trickled across the line during a scrum in front of the net, with Gagner getting credit for the goal.
Columbus got another power-play goal 5:09 into the second period when Nick Foligno took a beautiful pass from Cam Atkinson and tapped it in from in front of Domingue.
Gagner scored again 11:37 into the third period with a wrister from the high slot.
“He’s that type of player. When he gets going, he keeps coming,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “So that’s a really big plus for our lineup, as far as how Sam has played.”
Werensky capped it 15 minutes in with a shot from the corner that sneaked in between Domingue and the left post, with Gagner getting the assist.
“I think I could have given a better game to the boys, but it didn’t turn out my way at all tonight,” Domingue said.
NOTES: Columbus’ Brandon Saad got his 200th career point with an assist. ... Markus Hannikainen, who played well on the Blue Jackets’ fourth line while Matt Calvert was sidelined with an injury, was sent to Cleveland (AHL) on Sunday after Calvert returned. ... Twenty-year-old W Brendan Perlini made his NHL debut for Arizona after being recalled from Tucson (AHL) on Sunday. ... Dalton Prout and Scott Harrington were scratches for the Blue Jackets, and Anthony Duclair and Kevin Connauton were scratched for Arizona. ... The Blue Jackets have won the last seven out of eight at home. ... Cam Atkinson has 14 points in his past 10 games for Columbus.
Coyotes: At Chicago on Tuesday night.
Blue Jackets: At Detroit on Friday night.
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