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game recap

Blue Jackets win 15th in row, stop Wild streak

Columbus ties second-longest run in NHL history; Minnesota's ends at 12

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 15 games with a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Minnesota had won 12 games in a row. The game was the first in any of the four major North American professional sports leagues with each team on a winning streak of at least 12 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"What a crowd they had and it was a great team," Columbus forward Brandon Saad said. "It was real fun to be a part of. Obviously you want to be on the winning end, but it's definitely one to remember."

The Blue Jackets tied the second-longest winning streak in NHL history (New York Islanders, 1981-82; Pittsburgh Penguins, 2012-13). The 1992-93 Penguins hold the record with 17 straight victories.

 

WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Wild highlights

 

Columbus (26-5-4) hasn't lost since Nov. 26, 2-1 in a shootout to the Florida Panthers. The Blue Jackets have outscored opponents 62-26 during the streak.

Columbus next plays Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers.

"We enjoy it now but then we're on to the next one," Saad said. "It's something where it' been a lot of fun to be a part of, but at the same time you can't look too far ahead in the future."

Video: CBJ@MIN: Johnson rips Saad's feed past Dubnyk

The Wild (23-9-4) hadn't lost since Dec. 2, 3-2 in a shootout to the Calgary Flames. Minnesota hadn't lost at home since Nov. 19, 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche.

"We played a real good team, and they're playing good hockey, and maybe we weren't at our best tonight," Minnesota forward Mikael Granlund said. "But we can't win them all. Let's just get ready for the next one."

Cam Atkinson gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 10:05 of the first period, and he made it 3-0 at 3:44 of the second. Atkinson has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in his past 12 games.

"I think the past couple games there's been a little bit of a struggle in his game," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "I thought he played really well tonight. … Since I've been here, he has probably been my most consistent forward. You saw how I used him in the third period. I used him all over the place. So, I trust him."

Video: CBJ@MIN: Granlund tucks home Spurgeon's pass for PPG

Jack Johnson gave Columbus a 2-0 lead at 3:29 of the second period.

Granlund scored a power-play goal for Minnesota at 5:58 of the second to make it 3-1. He has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games.

Columbus went ahead 4-1 on Seth Jones' one-timer at 17:35 of the second. Jason Zucker scored 24 seconds into the third period to pull the Wild within 4-2.

It was the third time in four games Minnesota allowed more than three goals. Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Zucker lifts slick backhand off iron and in

"Well, Christmas was really good. New Year's (Eve) ain't that good," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We are all ticked off in there and everything. But if we sit back and look at the whole picture, what Columbus is doing is really amazing. But what we did was pretty good too. As long as we can get back to the way we were playing, then we'll continue to be successful."

 
Goal of the game

Atkinson beat the Minnesota defense on a breakaway and his wrist shot went five-hole on Dubnyk.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Atkinson wrists one five-hole on breakaway

 
Save of the game

At 2:09 of the second period, Wild forward Chris Stewart tried to backhand a shot past Sergei Bobrovsky, who lost sight of the puck before sitting on it and making one of his 29 saves.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Bobrovsky makes strong spinning kick save

 
Unsung performance of the game

Saad won the battle behind the Minnesota net and saucer-passed right to Jones' stick for Columbus' fourth goal. Saad, who had two assists and was plus-1, has seven points (three goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Jones roofs Saad's nice feed past Dubnyk

 
Highlight of the game

Atkinson scored 15 seconds after Johnson when he tipped in a pass from Ryan Murray.

Video: CBJ@MIN: Atkinson nets redirect for second of game

 
They said it

"I didn't talk about the streak. It really hasn't been in our vocabulary. I'm not saying that to be an idiot about it. I don't think we can think about that. It's such a long season, and I think our guys know why we've been consistent so far is that we just worry about each day. … That's the most important part of our team, is to worry about our work day, and we have to continue to do that." - Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

 

Need to know

Foligno has nine points (two goals, seven assists) during a five-game point streak. … Wennberg has seven points (two goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak. … Koivu has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in his past nine games.

 

What's next

Wild: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-CA, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, SNW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Jackets beat Wild, 4-2, for 15th straight victory

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