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game recap

Blue Jackets return to Stanley Cup Playoffs with win

Defeat Devils to clinch berth for third time in Columbus history, tie Capitals atop NHL standings

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Columbus Blue Jackets became the second team this season to clinch a berth into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs after a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Sunday.

The Blue Jackets (47-18-6) moved into a tie with the Washington Capitals for first place in the NHL with 100 points. The Capitals clinched a playoff berth after a 5-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

Columbus reached 100 points for the first time and qualified for the playoffs for the third time in its 17-season history.

 

WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Devils highlights

 

"This gives us an opportunity to talk about [playoffs] since we're in," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It's the start of the road. The players should feel real good about themselves because they've done a great job up to this point. Now we need to go about our business the right way."

Boone Jenner had two goals, Lukas Sedlak and Brandon Dubinsky also scored and Sergei Bobrovsky made 35 saves for the Blue Jackets. Sedlak and Dubinsky scored on penalty shots, making Columbus the third team in NHL history to score two in a game. The Vancouver Canucks in 1982 and San Jose Sharks in 2009 are the other teams to score two penalty shots in a game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Video: CBJ@NJD: Sedlak beats Schneider on penalty shot

Adam Henrique scored and Cory Schneider made 23 saves for the Devils (26-33-12).

"I thought we had a good start," Schneider said. "It was unfortunate on the two shorthanded goals. I thought it's me making saves on the penalty shots. I had only given up two penalty shot goals in my career and today they scored two on me, so I can do better on those."

Columbus took a 3-1 lead in the second period on Dubinsky's goal at 6:28. Jenner scored his second of the game into an empty net with 1:57 remaining to make it 4-1.

"This is a step in the right direction; we wanted to clinch and we just need to keep it going," Jenner said. "We're focused on our next game. We just want to get as many points as we can and play the right way."

The Blue Jackets scored two shorthanded goals in the first period to take a 2-0 lead.

"We scored four goals and had two assists in the game so how strange is that?" Tortorella said. "With these 1 o'clock games, you just never know what's going to happen. It was sloppy at times but I'm proud of the group."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Henrique slides puck five-hole for PPG

Sedlak scored on a penalty shot after being hooked from behind by Andy Greene at 6:32 for a 1-0 lead. Jenner made it 2-0 at 10:23.

Henrique scored seven seconds later on the power play off the ensuing faceoff when he fought off a check before pushing the puck past Bobrovsky to pull the Devils within 2-1.

 

Goal of the game

Dubinsky's goal on the second penalty shot of the game for the Blue Jackets was awarded after Josh Anderson was tripped from behind by defenseman Dalton Prout. Anderson could not take the shot after being injured on the play.

"I scored on Schneider a couple years ago, low glove, and I thought he might think I'd go low glove so I decided to mix it up," Dubinsky said. "I'm going to take some credit because I made a great shot. He doesn't give you a whole lot. He's a big body that plays his angles well so I just tried to trust my move."

Video: CBJ@NJD: Dubinsky picks the corner on a penalty shot

 

Save of the game

Bobrovsky stopped John Moore off a snap shot from the right circle 4:18 into the third period with Columbus holding a 3-1 lead.

 

Highlight of the game

Jenner's first goal came after fighting off a check from Greene below the left circle and shooting a puck that deflected off the skate of Schneider for a 2-0 lead.

Video: CBJ@NJD: Jenner banks in SHG off Schneider

 

Unsung performance of the game

Sedlak, who was in the lineup for forward Alexander Wennberg (upper body), was plus-2 with three shots on goal, two hits and a blocked shot, and finished 9-of-14 on faceoffs (64 percent).

 

They said it

"We don't take our foot off the gas pedal. We're still chasing the top spot in the League and that's something we're going to focus on for the rest of the regular season. We are going to try to get as many games as possible in front of our fans [in the playoffs]." -- Blue Jackets right wing Matt Calvert

 

Need to know

Tortorella has also reached 100 points in a season with the Tampa Bay Lightning (2003-04) and New York Rangers (2011-12). ... The Blue Jackets challenged the goal by Henrique, claiming the play was offside but after a video review the goal was upheld. The goal by Henrique ended a shutout streak by Bobrovsky against the Devils of 130:59. The Devils are the second team to face three penalty shots in a two-game span. The New York Americans did on Dec. 11-13, 1934, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

 

What's next

Blue Jackets: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Devils: Host the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, MSG, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Blue Jackets top Devils, 4-1, to clinch playoff spot

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