Wild spoil Tortorella’s debut with Blue Jackets
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thomas Vanek scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Minnesota Wild beat Columbus 3-2 on Thursday night, pushing the Blue Jackets to 0-8-0 and spoiling John Tortorella’s debut.
The Blue Jackets’ start is the worst season-opening regulation losing streak in the NHL since the New York Rangers started 0-11-0 in 1943-44. Tortorella took over as coach Wednesday after Todd Richards was fired.
Zach Parise tied for the league lead with his sixth goal 5:04 in. After Alexander Wennberg and Brandon Dubinsky countered for Columbus, Nino Niederreiter tied it and Vanek scored the winner with 8:48 left in the second with his third goal of the season.
Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves for his fourth win in five games this season.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves for the Blue Jackets. They held an opponent to fewer than four goals for the first time this year.
Minnesota was hoping for this sort of scoring from Vanek when it signed him prior to last season. The former Minnesota college star scored 21 goals last season. It was the lowest output in a full season for Vanek, who surpassed 300 NHL goals earlier this season.
With Columbus’ Cody Goloubef off for two minor penalties, Vanek redirected a pass from Jason Zucker past Bobrovsky — the Jackets goaltender has allowed 26 goals in six games this season.
Tortorella was hired as coach for the fourth time after previous stints with Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers and Vancouver. Tortorella said earlier in the day that he had consulted the team’s media guide to learn about his new players.
Columbus outshot Minnesota 13-6 in the first period. Dubinsky, who played under Tortorella in New York, scored on a power play in the first.
Parise got his goal when he drove the net and scored on a centering pass from Ryan Suter. Parise and Suter will likely be key members of the U.S. team in the upcoming hockey World Cup, which will be coached by Tortorella.
NOTES: Parise’s sixth goal is the most he’s scored through the first six games of a season in his NHL career. His previous best was five goals in six games to start the 2012-13 season, his first as a member of the Wild.
- Alexander Wennberg
- Brandon Dubinsky
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Devan Dubnyk
- FOX Sports Ohio
- FOX Sports Ohio - Blog
- FOX Sports Ohio - Buzzer
- Nino Niederreiter
- Sergei Bobrovsky
- Thomas Vanek
- Zach Parise