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game recap

Bobrovsky makes 39 saves, Blue Jackets shut out Devils

Panarin has goal, assist for Columbus, which has won four straight

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Bobrovsky turns away Devils

CBJ@NJD: Bobrovsky turns aside Devils on 5-on-3

Sergei Bobrovsky stops a flurry of Devils' shots on a 5-on-3 power play to keep the shutout intact in the waning minutes of the 2nd

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 saves, and the Columbus Blue Jackets won their fourth straight game with a 3-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Sunday.

Bobrovsky's shutout was his second of the season and 26th in the NHL. He has made six consecutive starts for the Blue Jackets, going 5-0-1 in that stretch.

"I don't like to analyze because there are ups and downs and it's a long season," Bobrovsky said. "You never know what will happen. You have to play by the moment and do what you need to do to help your team."


[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Devils highlights]


Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist, and Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored for Columbus (21-12-3), which won both games of a back-to-back (4-3 against Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday).

"We built a lead and [Bobrovsky] was excellent, but there are a lot of things we need to clean up," Blue Jackets assistant coach Brad Larsen said. "There's another level to our game, but as [coach John Tortorella] says, 'This is a find-a-way-to-win League', and we found a way to win and [Bobrovsky] was outstanding for two straight games. These four points will be big later in the season."

Video: Bobrovsky earns Sunday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Keith Kinkaid allowed three goals on 11 shots for New Jersey (12-16-7) before being pulled in the second period. He was replaced by rookie Mackenzie Blackwood, who made nine saves. 

"[Blackwood] played well the first game and came in and played pretty well (today), so he's going to get some serious looks here after break," Devils coach John Hynes said. "I didn't see us come out flat. I saw us come out and make a couple of mistakes that ended up in the back of our net."

It was the Devils second loss to the Blue Jackets in four days (2-1 on Thursday).

"People ask me who the hardest goalie to face is, and I say Bobrovsky every time," Devils forward Taylor Hall said. "I don't know if it's just against us that he plays like that (three career shutouts), but you have to have perfect shots and it doesn't seem like any goal is ever his fault. He's either getting screened or it's a backdoor tap. We had some really good chances, sustained pressure, chances in tight. I don't know what more there is to do other than that." 

The Blue Jackets scored on their first two shots of the game to take an early lead.

Atkinson converted a one-timer off a cross-ice pass from Panarin to give Columbus a 1-0 lead at 4:03 of the first period. He has four goals during a three-game streak.

Video: CBJ@NJD: Atkinson scores on Blue Jackets' first shot

"I just get open, that's my game and that's what I do," Atkinson said. "I like scoring goals and I know [Panarin] likes scoring goals, too. He likes to pass just as much, and I try to get open as much as I can for those guys."

Bjorkstrand made it 2-0 at 5:31, scoring top shelf from the right circle off a cross-ice pass from Alexander Wennberg.

"It always helps a team when more lines are scoring," Bjorkstrand said. "We have a good first line (Panarin-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Atkinson) and they score a lot for us, so it's nice to pitch in a little bit."

Panarin extended the lead to 3-0 at 10:47 of the second period with a backhand from the left circle.

Bobrovsky made four saves during a 5-on-3 power play for 1:40 by the Devils late in the second period to preserve the lead.

"It was a huge kill and gave us a boost of energy," Bobrovsky said. "[Defenseman Ryan Murray] broke his stick so it was actually a 5-on-2 on the ice, and that's hard. But we got a push after getting through that."


They said it

"When [Bobrovsky] is playing at the top of this game and with a lot of confidence, he gives us a lot of confidence and keeps us calm on the bench. We expect him to make those saves and it's amazing what that does for morale and the group. He picks us up when we need him." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson


"Maybe have to get a little dirtier in the hard areas in the net front, and obviously [Bobrovsky] is a really good goalie over there. You have to make it hard on him. I'm not saying we didn't, but I think we have to get there more often and try and get some greasy goals on him." -- Devils captain Andy Greene


Need to know

Panarin has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 10 games against the Devils. ... Columbus had one shot on goal in four power-play opportunities (0-for-4). ... New Jersey was shut out for the second time this season. ... The Devils starting goalie was pulled in a game for the fifth time this season.


What's next

Blue Jackets: At the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG 2, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Devils: At the Boston Bruins on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, SNE, SNO, NESN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Panarin records two points as Bobrovsky blanks Devils

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