Blue Jackets 6, Devils 3

BY foxsports • March 19, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Rookie Oliver Bjorkstand scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the third period to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday in Nationwide Arena.

Cam Atkinson, Seth Jones, Boone Jenner and William Karlsson also scored for the Blue Jackets, while Alexander Wennberg and Matt Calvert had two assists.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, out most of the season because of groin injuries, had 27 saves for his first victory since Dec. 5.

The Devils pushed all the way back from an early 3-0 deficit, but quickly faded after tying the score early in the third.

Kyle Palmieri scored twice for the Devils and has 27 goals this season, and Adam Henrique also scored, while Travis Zajac had two assists.

Devils goaltender Keith Kincaid was pulled only 2:50 into the third period after allowing three goals on 19 shots. He was replaced by Yann Danis, who didn't fare much better.

Bjorkstand, a 20-year-old rookie from Denmark, was playing in his second NHL game after being recalled from the minor leagues on Wednesday.

His goal at 1:23 of the third period -- only 34 seconds after the Devils tied it -- was the game-winner, and he added another goal at 6:38 of the third.

"It's one of the greatest nights of my life," Bjorkstrand told the on-ice reporter after the game.

The Blue Jackets jumped to a fast start in the first period and took a 2-0 lead on goals by Atkinson and Jones.

At 11:33 of the first, with the Jackets on the power play, Alexander Wennberg snapped a cross-zone pass that found Atkinson on the doorstep for the easy finish. It was Atkinson's 25th goal of the season, a career high.

Only 3½ minutes later, Jones was left all alone wide of the left circle. With his back against the wall, Jones let loose a slapshot that beat Kinkaid to the far corner of the net.

Early in the second, the Blue Jackets pushed the lead to 3-0 on Jenner's 25th goal of the season, also a career high.

Jenner was skating off the half-wall when he fired a wrister from above the right circle, sending the puck under Kinkaid's left arm.

That was it for Kinkaid, who was replaced by veteran minor-leaguer Yann Danis.

The Devils started to level the ice late in the first period, but they made their first real push after Jenner's goal, thanks to two power plays.

At 5:42, Palmieri was on the doorstep for a perfect redirection of a Damon Severson shot, sending the puck down and past Bobrovsky to make it 3-1.

At 8:57, again on the power play, the Devils pulled to 3-2.

Henrique got behind Blue Jackets defenseman Cody Goloubef, who was forced to shove Henrique from behind in a futile attempt to break up a breakaway attempt.

It didn't work. Henrique's shot trickled through Bobrovsky's pads and into the net before Henrique plowed into the goaltender, making it 3-2.

The Devils continued the push into the third, with Palmieri scoring from close range only 49 seconds into the period to tie the score at 3-3.

At 1:23, Bjorkstrand came roaring through the slot and one-timed a Wennberg feed to beat Danis for the 4-3 goal.

Only 11 seconds later, the Jackets pushed the lead to 5-3 when Karlsson scored on a rebound.

Bjorkstrand capped the scoring at 6:38, when he beat Danis with a wrister from the right circle.

NOTES: Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella became the 26th coach in NHL history to coach in 1,000 league games. He's the first American-born coach to accomplish the feat. ... Blue Jackets G Curtis McElhinney will have arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday and miss the rest of the season, the club announced. Rookie Joonas Korpisalo, who is 14-8-4 with Columbus this season, was recalled from minor-league Lake Erie to back-up G Sergei Bobrovsky. ... Devils coach John Hynes told reporters that veteran forwards Mike Cammalleri (upper body) and Patrick Elias (knee) are unlikely to return this season.



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