BLUE JACKETS 6 | JETS 3
Neither Todd Richards or his players liked the way they started tonight's game in Winnipeg.
They were a step behind and could not find a way to match the intensity of a desperate home side that had lost four straight coming into the game. The Jets, sporting a completely reconfigured lineup, had a goal disallowed early in the first period but opened the scoring minutes later and got the Blue Jackets reeling in the first period.
FINAL: BLUE JACKETS 6 | JETS 3
But one of the most important aspects of tonight's victory at MTS Centre was that the Blue Jackets kept the damage minimal after 20 minutes. They didn't have a lot going in the first period but it could have been worse, and staying within striking distance set them up for a huge second period - one of their biggest offensive outbursts in quite some time.
The Blue Jackets scored four times in the second period with all four goals coming in a span of less than nine minutes, completely taking the Jets out of the game and quickly erasing a disappointing opening period.
got it started shorthanded, converting a Derek MacKenzie
pass 36 seconds into the second period and it kept on rolling from there. Cam Atkinson
capped off a gorgeous passing play with his 13th of the season at 4:15 of the second period, Nick Foligno
notched his 12th of the season at 8:26, and Boone Jenner
scored his first career penalty shot goal at 9:07.
And each time the Jets tried to inch their way back into the game, the Blue Jackets responded with a timely goal.
Tobias Enstrom and Bryan Little scored goals to pull Winnipeg with one on two separate occasions, but those markers were answered by goals from Jenner (his second of the game) and Letestu (also his second) to put the game out of reach in the third period. Curtis McElhinney
, making the spot start in place of Sergei Bobrovsky
, shook off a bumpy start and made 28 saves to earn the victory. With the win, the Blue Jackets moved above the .500 mark (21-20-4) for the first time since October, when they were 2-1-0 after a win in Buffalo.
It's officially a winning streak now: the Blue Jackets have won three straight and return home to face Tampa Bay on Monday night.
Jenner's second goal could not have come at a better time. Trailing by two with 20 minutes to go, the Jets came out with a push to start the third period, but Columbus got a strong shift from the Jenner-Anisimov-Horton line that produced some sustained zone time.
Jenner, camped in front of the net, jammed in a rebound from Horton's wrist shot to make it 5-2 Columbus early in the third period. It was the most timely of goals for the Blue Jackets.
1. MARK LETESTU (CBJ)
Letestu has broken out of a scoring funk in a huge way. He scored the winning shootout goal on Monday in New York, was huge on the 5-on-3 kill Friday night and now has three points in his last two games after a two-goal outing in Winnipeg.
2. BOONE JENNER (CBJ)
Jenner has played some of his best hockey since lining up with Anisimov and Horton, and he was outstanding tonight. His penalty shot goal capped a four-goal charge in the second period and his second of the game stretched the lead in the third period.
3. RYAN JOHANSEN (CBJ)
Great set-up from behind the Jets goal out front to Foligno for the Blue Jackets' third goal of the game. He played a steady game in all three zones tonight.
VS. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
MONDAY, 7 P.M.