The Blue Jackets' top players are starting to show signs of waking from a season-long slumber.
Backed by two goals from Cam Atkinson and a goal by captain Nick Foligno, Columbus defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-2 Friday at Nationwide Arena for its season-high sixth straight victory - the longest active streak in the NHL.
The first five victories were sparked by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky - who made 24 saves for his sixth straight win -- and depth scoring. This time, with help from both top scorers and role players alike, the Blue Jackets (15-7-1) showed what kind of force they can be when all facets are going in the right direction.
"I was really proud of that," Foligno said. "You see some guys pitch in that haven't, and that's important for our team. You can't rely on the same guys [every game]. You need other guys stepping up, especially the guys that are supposed to, whether you're paid [a lot] to do it or not, you're the core group and we've got to find a way to answer. I was really proud of a lot of guys, in a game that could've gone either way."
Atkinson scored in the first and third periods, including the go-ahead goal to make it 3-2 in the third. Foligno made it 4-2 not long after, and defenseman Markus Nutivaara scored his first goal of the season, in the second period.
Video: OTT@CBJ: Foligno uses speed to tally snap shot
It was tied 2-2 after two periods, but the score wasn't indicative of how much Columbus dominated to that point. The Blue Jackets controlled play in the first 40 minutes, outshooting Ottawa 25-12 and taking 68.4 percent of all shot attempts during 5-on-5 play, but still gave up two goals.
The Senators opened the scoring when Tom Pyatt tapped home a pass from former Blue Jacket center Derick Brassard at 10:56 of the first, and they tied it 2-2 just 1:32 after Columbus took a 2-1 lead on Nutivaara's goal.
Atkinson scored his first goal of the game in the first period, off a breakaway. He tied it,1-1, 26 seconds after Pyatt scored for Ottawa (8-7-6), which has lost five in a row.
In the third, Atkinson responded to his tripping penalty by scoring less than a minute after he was released from the penalty box. Foligno provided a two-goal cushion less than three minutes later, and Motte sealed it.
Here's how it all played out:
Goals: OTT - Tom Pyatt (Derick Brassard, Mark Stone), 10:56; CBJ - Cam Atkinson (unassisted), 11:22
Shots: Blue Jackets 14, Senators 4
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 80% (24-6), Senators 20% (6-24)
Scoring chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 10, Senators 3
High-Danger chances 5v5: Blue Jackets 3, Senators 2