Blues can’t contain Blue Jackets in 8-4 loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Just over a week after whipping NHL-leading Montreal 10-1, Columbus had its fans chanting "We want 10!" late in the second period Saturday night during another blowout.
This one wasn’t so satisfactory to coach John Tortorella, though.
Sam Gagner scored twice, Nick Foligno got a goal and two assists and 13 Blue Jackets had at least a point, helping Columbus rout the St. Louis Blues 8-4.
The Jackets’ demanding coach wasn’t as enthused as the home crowd, instead calling out his team’s defensive and physical mistakes.
"We shot the puck and it went in the net," Tortorella said. "It’s not going to happen that way that often. We need to understand how we’re playing, not what the score is. As far as the checking part of the game, as far as our sticks. A lot of the little things in the game. We’re going to continue to work at that."
Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky, Markus Nutivaara, William Karlsson and Zach Werenski also scored for Columbus.
The Blue Jackets rebounded from a tough loss Thursday night in Boston and have points in six of their last seven games (5-1-1), winning four straight at home. Cam Atkinson added a career-high four assists, and Brandon Saad, Scott Hartnell, Lukas Sedlak and Boone Jenner each had two.
Foligno agreed with his coach’s assessment, even after thumping a St. Louis team that played in the Western Conference finals last season.
"I still think we’ve got a lot to improve on in our game," he said. "I didn’t like some of our decisions. It’s hard sometimes when you get up that fast. But I’m not going to take anything away from the win. It’s a big win at home."
Sergei Bobrovsky, pulled in the first period against the Bruins, stopped 33 shots for the Jackets.
Robby Fabbri scored twice, and Vladimir Tarasenko and Kevin Shattenkirk also scored for St. Louis, which has lost three straight and five of seven.
"I think we’re in a spot right now where we’re a little dazed by the situation," Shattenkirk said. "You look back at the last five or six years, we haven’t really had a run like this at all. It’s new to us and we have to grow out of it. It’s not fun. It’s frustrating for everyone."
Jake Allen stopped eight of 12 shots and was pulled early in the second period. Carter Hutton finished with 14 saves.
St. Louis’ dormant offense finally showed up, but its goaltending was a no show. Tarasenko and David Perron had three assists, but the Blues have now lost four consecutive games on the road by a combined score of 22-7. All St. Louis’ goals came on the power play.
"We’re not competing at the puck near hard enough and we’re not firm with it," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That’s a bad recipe. It doesn’t matter what you do in the offensive zone if you’re going to get beat one on one in your own zone."
The Blue Jackets led 3-1 after the first period and 7-2 heading into the third.
Gagner started it at 2:34 of the first, turning from behind the net and lifting a backhand shot inside the near post.
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Shattenkirk tied it three minutes later, finishing a rush.
Just eight seconds after that, Foligno put the Blue Jackets ahead, powering a snapshot off Allen at 6:43 for his sixth goal of the season.
Wennberg scored later in the first, and Gagner, Dubinsky, Nutivaara and Karlsson scored in the second for a 7-1 lead. Fabbri made it 7-2 late in the second.
Tarasenko and Fabbri then sandwiched goals around Werenski’s tally in the third.
NOTES: Dubinsky had missed the last two games with a lower-body injury. … St. Louis and Columbus entered tied as the top penalty-killing teams in the league. … Fabbri played on the first line after being a healthy scratch Thursday in a loss to Nashville.
Blues: Welcome Buffalo on Tuesday night to begin a three-game homestand.
Blue Jackets: Play five of next six at home, including Washington on Tuesday night.