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Aftermath No. 9: New Jersey

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Dubinsky was one of many Blue Jackets to use the word "urgency" in describing their play over the last couple of games. 

Their three-game road trip did not go as planned but their only focus was to get back on track at home, where they hadn't won a game in two tries prior to Sunday and needed to build some momentum.

Step one was a big 3-1 win over Vancouver on Sunday and the next step was to continue that into tonight's game against the struggling New Jersey Devils, one of their Metropolitan Division rivals.


And against a team that loves to out-wait you, the Blue Jackets stared right back at the Devils.

Michael Ryder's lead goal didn't faze them much, as the Blue Jackets rallied with four straight goals to earn a 4-1 win at Nationwide Arena, their second straight to bump their record to 4-5-0 through nine contests.

Wisniewski's three-point effort led the way and Atkinson scored a nice game winner in the second period, but this was truly a team victory as the Jackets got contributions from all four lines.

Let's talk more about tonight's game...

- Dubinsky was a beast in this game, playing in all situations and doing all the little things the Blue Jackets pride themselves on doing when they're playing well.

He was a +3 on the night, scored the tying goal on the power play at a crucial time in the game and provided the game's strongest emotional boost.

- Bobrovsky = solid. He made 24 saves and did what he had to do, and maybe all he needed was some rest. 

- Todd Richards praised Johansen's game and said he's playing the way a big, strong kid should play. He's using his size to his advantage down low, defending well and becoming a go-to guy in the face-off circle.

His play didn't show on the scoresheet as it did on Sunday, but Johansen was very good again tonight.

- The Devils couldn't figure out what to do with Atkinson tonight; he was in on the forecheck disrupting the breakout, keeping plays alive in the zone and trying to make a play whenever he had the puck.

It sure looked like no one - including Schneider - expected Atkinson to fire the backhander that eventually stood up as the game winner.

- Columbus' fourth line was used a lot tonight and matched up well against a Devils club that prides itself on having a strong fourth line.

All three guys (MacKenzie, Boll, Letestu) played over nine minutes and Letestu - thanks to some special teams duty - nearly broke the 16-minute mark tonight. That trio really helped set the tone in the first period with a forechecking presence and physical play.

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