WINNIPEG, MB - After bailing themselves out for three straight games with late efforts to win, the Blue Jackets decided not to wait so long Tuesday night at Bell MTS Place.
Rather than flipping the switch in the third period, the Jackets fired up the engine at puck drop and didn't let off the gas until it was over. They defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 for their fourth straight win and tied a franchise mark set in 2009-10 with 10 points in their first six games (5-1-0).
"I really liked our game all the way through," said Jackets captain Nick Foligno, who scored his first goal of the season to make it 2-0 midway through the second period. "We just continued to play to our identity. We got pucks behind them, we reloaded really hard and played down low, and were rewarded for it. It was good to see."
The goals were scored by five different players. Eleven Jackets contributed with points on the scoresheet, for the second straight game. Backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo made 24 saves in his first start since allowing five goals in a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 7, including a few dazzling stops.
"The biggest point for me is Korpisalo made some key saves at key times," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It was a great bounce-back game for him, where we thought he struggled at times in Chicago. We're going to use him. When you use your backup, you're not using him just to rest your top goaltender. You need to get points in this league with your backup. I'm happy for him."
Three of the Jackets' four wins in the streak were on the road. Now, they return home to Nationwide Arena for four games, starting with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
The challenge is to keep this type of effort rolling, because it was impressive to watch.
Video: CBJ@WPG: Atkinson opens scoring with breakaway beauty
The Jackets got another goal from their top line, scored by Cam Atkinson 36 seconds into the second period for a 1-0 lead. They got four goals in that period, taking a 4-1 lead, with the other three scored by Foligno, defenseman Jack Johnson and fourth-line center Lukas Sedlak.
They dominated puck possession, played solid defensively and basically put this game away with more than a period left to play. That, however, wasn't the feeling inside the visiting locker room during the second intermission.
"We hadn't put a great one together since the first one," Foligno said. "I think that was the message here: 'Let's keep going. We need to do this thing. We're playing really well right now, but we can't let up against a team that's going to throw up everything they have at you when they're down that many.'"
Video: CBJ@WPG: Foligno makes superb move to beat Mason
So, they didn't back off in the third.
The Jackets kept their foot on the accelerator, and pushed to make it 5-1 on Zach Werenski's goal at 12:15 - a goal that gave Seth Jones, Werenski's defense partner, his 100th career NHL assist.
There were a couple areas to improve, but they were minor side stories in comparison to the bigger picture of the game as a whole.
There were two goals allowed, which might've been prevented with better defensive coverage. The power play went 0-for-2 and is now 0-for-14 since the Jackets scored on their first man-advantage of the season.
Those are fixable issues. What was most important from this game was the completeness of it, from start to finish.
"I was really proud of our effort tonight," Foligno said. "It was nice to see."
News and Notes
- Jones didn't find out he was close to notching his 100th career NHL assist until Monday night, when forward Boone Jenner alerted him to it. "It's pretty cool," Jones said. "Being a young guy in this league, you want to do well, and I take pride in creating offense for the team. At the end of the day, that's part of my game."
- Center Alexander Wennberg assisted on Atkinson's goal by tipping the puck away from the Jets just outside the Columbus blue line, which helped spring a breakaway. Wennberg is now one assist shy of 100 in his career. "Great stick by Wennie," Tortorella said.
- Josh Anderson, who assisted on Johnson's goal, played his 100th career NHL game. Anderson has points in the past two games.
- Defenseman Markus Nutivaara made his season debut, playing 16:08 over 20 shifts. Playing the right point on the third pairing, with Ryan Murray, Nutivaara blocked a shot and finished with three shots of his own. After having offseason hip surgery, he's feeling back to the way he did prior to the injury. "It feels a lot better now than last year," he said. "That's a good thing. I think I'm ready now."
Video: Condensed Game: Blue Jackets @ Jets
Blue Jackets: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 p.m. CT, FS-O, Fox Sports Go, SUN, NHL.TV)
Jets: Host the Minnesota Wild on Friday (7 p.m. CT, TSN3, FS-N+, NHL.TV)