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Injuries testing Blue Jackets' resolve

by Brian McCormack / Columbus Blue Jackets

Another hockey game, another smattering of injuries for the Blue Jackets.

James Wisniewski
will miss 1-2 weeks after suffering a broken finger during the contest with Ottawa, amazingly after Sergei Bobrovsky went on injured reserve with the same diagnosis Tuesday morning. Artem Anisimov left the game in the second period after suffering a hit to the head from Senators defenseman Eric Gryba. He did not return and will need to be re-evaluated.

Asked about the mounting injuries, Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards could only shake his head and said he’d never seen anything like it.

“Whether I’ve done something or someone’s done something to the hockey gods, I have never seen anything like this," Richards said. "It seems like every time we play a game, somebody’s getting hurt, or at least that’s what it feels like right now.”

Anisimov and Wisniewski join a list of injured Blue Jackets that includes Bobrovsky, Boone Jenner, Brandon Dubinsky, Nathan Horton, and Matt Calvert, while Nick Foligno remains day-to-day.

For the optimistic, the Jackets received an excellent performance from a player returning from an injury scare. And it was injury that, thankfully, wasn't as severe as it could have been.

Cam Atkinson made his return to the top line on Tuesday night and had an instant impact with line mates Ryan Johansen and Scott Hartnell. With a wicked wrister off the face-off, Atkinson whipped a laser over the blocker of Senators goaltender Robin Lehner to pull the Blue Jackets even late in the second period. The trio had a strong game and dominated stretches late in the second period.

“I thought we had a lot of opportunities and a lot of grade-A chances,” said Atkinson. “We played a lot tonight, there was a lot of power play time. It just comes down to the little things. You can’t knock yourself for the opportunities, but we need to start burying them.”

Richards was happy with Atkinson’s performance, saying he had good speed and made several plays because of it, which is something the team will need from him going forward.

With his assist on Atkinson’s second period goal, Johansen extended his points steak to nine games (5-7-12 overall), tying a single-season career high. It's also the longest points streak to open a season in Blue Jackets franchise history. Johansen also registered points in nine consecutive games last season from Nov. 29 to Dec. 16. Dating back to last season, Johansen has registered at least one point in 15 straight regular season games (eight goals, 12 assists).

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