Jenner, Laine lift Blue Jackets over Devils 4-3
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Boone Jenner and Patrik Laine both scored and had an assist, Jake Christiansen notched his first career goal and the Columbus Blue Jackets came from behind to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 Tuesday night and end a two-game losing streak.
Oliver Bjorkstrand added a goal and Jakub Voracek had two assists for Columbus, which beat New Jersey at home for the seventh straight time dating back to 2018. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 30 shots in his 19th win.
Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Pavel Zacha scored for the Devils, and Nico Daws made 27 saves.
Hughes put the Devils up 1-0 just 54 seconds into the game after a scramble in front of Merzlikins.
Christiansen, an emergency recall from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters playing in his third NHL game, pulled Columbus even with about 7 minutes left in the period with a sniper shot from a cross-ice pass from Cole Sillinger. Bjorkstrand then put Columbus ahead with 2:25 left in the first off a one-timer from between the circles.
“It was great to see (Christiansen) get his first,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “... They are doing a great job in Cleveland working with these guys, getting them prepared when they come here. They haven’t missed a beat.”
Jenner capitalized on a two-man advantage and put Columbus up 3-1 46 seconds into the second period for his team-leading eighth power-play goal and 23rd overall.
“He’s really good around the net,” Voracek said of Jenner. “Not that many guys are that good. If you know how to move around the net and know where the puck is going to bounce, you are going to put them in.”
Hischier pulled the Devils within a goal with 4 minutes left in the second, beating Merzlikins blocker side, but Laine extended the Columbus lead to 4-2 with his 20th goal of the season and 23rd point in the last 14 games.
“I had a lot of speed coming through the neutral zone,” Laine said. “I was planning on shooting. I kind of lost it in my feet for a second or two. I was lucky to get it off. It’s a good thing it went in.”
Zacha made it 4-3 at 7:07 of the third with wrister off the rush, one second after a Columbus penalty expired.
“The first period we came out and created a lot of chances and didn’t capitalize,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “That was probably the biggest difference in the game.”
Voracek’s primary assist on Bjorkstrand’s goal tied him for third in the NHL with 29. Of his 40 points on the year, 38 came on assists.
STREAKS OF NOTE
Hughes’ goal put him at a career-high 34 points and extended his point streak to six games. Dougie Hamilton’s assist on Zacha’s goal extended his point streak to three games.
THAT WAS QUICK
Tuesday was the fifth game this season in which the Devils scored less than a minute in, the most of all NHL teams.
Max Domi notched his 300th NHL point with the secondary assist on Christianson’s first-period goal.
CALL IT A COMEBACK
The Blue Jackets have come from behind in 18 of their 28 wins, the most in the NHL.
Blue Jackets’ center Brendan Gaunce left the game in the first period with an upper body injury and did not return. Defenseman Adam Boqvist was kept out of the lineup with an upper-body injury that prevented him from playing against his older brother, Jesper, who plays for the Devils.
Devils: Visits the Rangers on Friday.
Blue Jackets: Hosts the Kings on Friday.
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