As if knocking off the Detroit Red Wings and playoff-bound Florida Panthers in the last week wasn’t enough, rookie goaltender Allen York kicked it up a notch tonight in St. Louis against a hungry, wide-eyed Blues club.
The 22-year-old, starting between the pipes amidst a rash of injuries to Blue Jackets netminders, was brilliant in a hostile Scottrade Center with the Blues eyeing a clinch of the Central Division crowd. He finished the night with 34 saves and staved off a tenacious rally in the final 20 minutes, as Columbus downed the Blues by a 5-2 final in front of a sold-out crowd at Scottrade Center.
R.J. Umberger notched his second consecutive two-goal outing and earned the game-winner in the second period, leading the offensive charge for the Blue Jackets who played a composed game despite the Blues challenging them on several occasions. Rick Nash and Cam Atkinson each had a pair of assists, helping engineer just the second regulation win for Columbus in its last 16 trips to Scottrade Center.
Jared Boll opened the scoring at 6:16 of the first period, parking himself in the crease as line mate Darryl Boyce drove hard to the net. Jaroslav Halak kicked out a rebound and Boll was on the scene to deposit the puck for his second goal of the year and give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. David Backes answered 17 seconds later and scored on a rebound to tie the game, but Columbus had all the answers from there.
Umberger scored the next two goals in the game, David Perron brought the Blues within a goal late in the second period, but the rink tilted in the Blue Jackets’ favor in the third period. Derek Dorsett’s 12th goal of the year came on a long power play chance as the Blues took four straight penalties, and that goal made it 4-2 at the 10:25 mark of the third. Vinny Prospal iced it with a 150-foot empty netter – his 15th of the season – with 1:26 to play.
Perron’s goal brought life to the Scottrade Center crowd, which had been nullified by strong play in front York for much of the first two periods. The Blues started the third period strong, but got caught up in extracurricular activity that cost them four straight penalties. Dorsett’s goal was the turning point in the game, extending the Blue Jackets’ lead to 4-2 and stunting any hope of a St. Louis rally.
LW R.J. Umberger has goals in three-straight games after scoring two goals tonight. It marks his fourth multi-goal game in the last 22 games after going without one the previous 58 games. The goals give him 12 in the last 25 games after being held to seven the first 49 games of the season. He has tallied 8-2-10 the last six games and has 16-14-30 the last 48 games after opening the season with 3-4-7 the first 26 games. In 26 career games against the Blues, he has 11-9-20. Columbus is now 11-3-0 this season when he scores a goal.
Umberger has goals in three of the last five games after scoring two goals tonight. He had been held goalless the previous seven games. It was his third multi-goal outing the last 21 games after going the previous 58 without one. He has collected 6-2-8 the last five games after being held pointless the previous six games.
RW Jared Boll snapped a 43-game goalless skid with his second of the season tonight. He had last scored Nov. 23 at New Jersey. It was his first point in 36 games as he had an assist Dec. 8 vs. Nashville.
LW Vinny Prospal has goals in four of the last nine games after scoring his 15th of the season tonight. He had been held to two goals the previous 29 games. He has 3-3-6, while collecting 6-15-21 the last 29 games after being held to 1-2-3 the previous 16 games.
D Cody Goloubef made his NHL debut tonight. He one hit and was +1 in 6:00 of ice time.
vs. Phoenix Coyotes
Jobing.com Arena | Glendale, Arizona
Tuesday, 10 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: 97.1 The Fan FM & BlueJackets.com