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game recap

Sam Gagner gets four points in Blue Jackets win

Forward sparks Columbus with two goals, two assists to help defeat Coyotes

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets' best offseason move continued to pay dividends when forward Sam Gagner had two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Nationwide Arena on Monday.

Gagner, who was an unrestricted free agent, signed a one-year, $650,000 contract on Aug. 1 with hopes of resurrecting his career. He had eight goals in 53 games for the Philadelphia Flyers last season and also spent time in the American Hockey League.

 

WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Blue Jackets highlights

 

But Gagner is tied with Nick Foligno for the Blue Jackets lead with 10 goals and has seven assists in 23 games.

"I'm happy for him because he knew when we were talking this summer that this was a chance, probably his last one, to stay in the League," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "He's been a huge addition to our team."

Video: ARI@CBJ: Gagner's deflection slides over goal line

The Blue Jackets (15-5-4) are 5-0-1 in the past six games.

Tobias Rieder scored on the power play for the Coyotes (8-12-4), who have lost four in a row. Louis Domingue made 30 saves.

"We were all right," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Penalties caught up with us and we didn't create enough offense to overcome it."

Foligno and rookie defenseman Zach Werenski also scored and Cam Atkinson had two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky made 17 saves.

Rieder put the Coyotes up 1-0 at 9:28 of the first, scoring his seventh goal.

Columbus has the top-ranked power play in the NHL (.246) and scored its first two goals with the man-advantage Monday. The Blue Jackets are 12-for-36 (.333) at home on the power play.

Gagner, who played for the Coyotes in 2014-15, tied the game 1-1 on the Blue Jackets' first power play at 11:39 and Foligno gave Columbus a 2-1 lead early in the second period.

"We were a little sluggish early," Gagner said. "Our power play kept us going. We were moving the puck around pretty good and were able to get a couple there, which is nice."

Gagner's goal at 11:37 of the third gave Columbus a 3-1 lead. Brandon Saad assisted for his 200th NHL point. Gagner then assisted on Werenski's sixth goal at 15:00.

Video: ARI@CBJ: Werenski finds the net from a tough angle

 

Goal of the game

Rieder had no hesitation in taking a pass from Alex Goligoski and shooting top shelf on Bobrovsky before the goalie could react.

Video: ARI@CBJ: Rieder snaps the puck top shelf for PPG

 

Save of the game

Bobrovsky kept Columbus ahead 2-1 in the final seconds of the second period when he battled a crowd in front to locate a low shot from the left point by Jakob Chychrun and stuck out his left pad to make the save.

 

Unsung moment of the game

Goligoski prevented Columbus from taking a 2-1 lead during its power play with eight minutes left in the first period when he swept the puck off the goal line after a tipped shot by Boone Jenner got behind Domingue.

Video: ARI@CBJ: Goligoski uses swift stick to save a goal

 

Highlight of the game

Foligno gave Columbus its first lead at 5:09 of the second period during a power play. Gagner sent a crisp from the right point to Atkinson in the low left circle. He patiently waited for a lane and threaded a pass through two Coyotes to Foligno at the crease to make it 2-1.

Video: ARI@CBJ: Foligno nets PPG to complete passing play

 

They said it

"Tonight was a case of a bad backup goalie job. You come in here fresh; you've got to give more to the team. I think I could have given a better game tonight." -- Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue

 

"It's a fun team to be a part of. We're doing a good job of forgetting anything that happened the game before and moving on and having a good mindset about it."-- Blue Jackets forward Sam Gagner

 

"It would have been nice to get a win, but in the same sense it was good to get out here with the guys." -- Coyotes forward Brendan Perlini on his NHL debut

 

Need to know

Arizona captain Shane Doan remains one goal shy of his 400th NHL goal and needs one assist to become the Coyotes' career assists leader. … The win was the 500th all-time for Columbus. The Blue Jackets are 500-570-33-117.

 

What's next

Coyotes: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8:30 p.m., ET; CSN-CH, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Detroit Red Wings on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D+, FS-O, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Gagner's four points lead Jackets past Coyotes, 4-1

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