Artem Anisimov gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a much-needed offensive boost against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Anisimov scored twice, breaking a 1-1 tie in a 4-2 win at Nationwide Arena.
Acquired in the trade that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, Anisimov has four goals on the season. Nash has two.
The Blue Jackets had scored seven goals total in their previous six games (winning once), and Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard was 10-1-1 in his previous 12 decisions against Columbus.
"We established the forecheck early and we just kept going, kept going," Anisimov said. "We kept the momentum and just kept going."
Anisimov put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-1 when he capitalized on a turnover by Niklas Kronwall along the boards to Howard's left and flipped a forehand shot past him 2:32 into the second period. He made it 3-1 when he took a sharp, diagonal cross-ice pass from defenseman John Moore in the faceoff circle to Howard's right, skated in front of the crease and slid a backhander into the net at 17:18.
It was Anisimov's first multigoal game since Nov. 11, 2010, when he scored twice for the Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres. He had 16 goals in 79 games last season.
"I'm still learning Artie and his game," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Maybe as he starts to figure out his teammates and they figure him out, there may be a lot more there."
Columbus defenseman James Wisniewski tied the game at 1-1 with a one-timer from just inside the blue line that beat Howard at 18:17 of the first period.
Wisniewski was injured at 1:39 of the second period when he crashed into the end boards back-first. Chasing the puck with teammate Nick Foligno, Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader appeared to make contact with Foligno, who then bumped into Wisniewski, causing him to fall. He skated off with help from two teammates and did not return. Richards said afterward Wisniewski suffered a concussion.
"I thought our team did a great job of not missing a beat and staying after them," Jack Johnson said.
With the Jackets down to five defensemen, Johnson played 34:59, the most ice time in regulation for any player this season and the most for any player in franchise history. He had an assist, four shots on goal and was plus-1.
"It's a lot easier to do it with [James] than without him," Johnson said. "But I've had nine months to get ready for this. That's why you train in the summer. But I feel great. I just keep telling the coaches to put me out, I guess."
The game's opening goal came on a precision passing play by the Red Wings. Henrik Zetterberg won a faceoff back to Jonathan Ericsson, who slid the puck across to Kronwall. His shot was stopped by Steve Mason but Johan Franzen tucked in the rebound 8:36 into the game.
Howard played again the night after the Red Wings defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-3 in Detroit. With backups Jonas Gustavsson and Joey MacDonald injured, only one-game veteran Tom McCollum could have played in Howard's place.
"Their second goal was absolute garbage," Howard said. "It just sort of took the wind out of our sails."
Zetterberg, who had a hat trick and two assists against the Blues, had a six-game point streak end; he had 12 points over that span. Pavel Datsyuk also went scoreless, ending his six-game streak with nine points.
"[Columbus] had more energy, they played better and they got better and better as the game went on, and we got worse and worse," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Mark Letestu scored a shorthanded goal for Columbus 13:25 into the third period. Mason made 32 saves for his first win.
Damien Brunner had Detroit's second goal with 26.4 seconds remaining.
The Red Wings, already ravaged by injuries on defense, lost another blueliner when Brendan Smith left with a shoulder injury after a first-period hit by Blue Jackets forward Derek MacKenzie.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.