Atkinson scores again as Blue Jackets beat Maple Leafs 4-2
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Cam Atkinson is on quite a roll for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Atkinson scored for the sixth straight game, and the Blue Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Friday night to remain atop the Metropolitan Division.
Josh Anderson had two goals and Markus Hannikainen also scored, helping the Blue Jackets avenge a 4-2 loss at Toronto on Monday. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots for his eighth win.
Atkinson put Columbus (13-7-2) ahead to stay with a short-handed goal at 16:14 of the second. He grabbed a feed at the blue line from Alexander Wennberg and wristed a shot by Andersen from between the circles.
Atkinson has eight goals and four assists during his scoring streak. His goal-scoring streak is one shy of the franchise record set by Geoff Sanderson during the 2002-03 season.
Toronto dropped consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 29 and Nov. 1. It had won four in a row and seven of eight before Wednesday’s 5-2 loss at Carolina.
Ron Hainsey and Kasperi Kapenen scored for the Maples Leafs (15-8-0), and Frederik Andersen stopped 20 shots.
Anderson got the Blue Jackets on the board 3:55 into the first period, forcing a Boone Jenner rebound past Andersen’s left side on Columbus’ first shot of the game.
Anderson got his 10th of the season midway through the first, making it 2-0 when he swatted a bouncing puck past Andersen.
“We wanted to come out pretty hard,” Anderson said. “They came out hard, they came out really fast. They played pretty good down low. They were working our D a little bit. We needed to find a way to win tonight, and that’s what we did.”
The Maple Leafs then rallied. Hainsey drove a point shot past Bobrovsky for his third of the season at 16:16 of the first, and Kapenen tied it 2:58 into the second when he slipped by a Jenner check in the neutral zone and beat Bobrovsky for his 10th.
“This was as good a road game as we have played in a while, to be honest with you,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought our guys skated good. We turned the puck over on their first goal, and then on their fourth goal, so you can’t do that. The bottom line is we played heavy, we played fast. We had lots of good things.
“We didn’t score and they did. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Hannikainen made it 4-2 with his second of the season 3:35 into the third.
NOTES: Toronto D Igor Ozhiganov got his first NHL point when he assisted on Hainsey’s goal in the first.
Maple Leafs: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Blue Jackets: Visit Pittsburgh on Saturday.