The only thing that seems able to stop the Columbus Blue Jackets is the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The Blue Jackets (27-16-8) enter the four-day break with a six-game winning streak after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday. Oliver Bjorkstrand had his second straight two-goal game and scored the winner at 14:22 of the third period. Columbus holds the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
It was the 15th comeback win for the Blue Jackets, one shy of the NHL-leading Washington Capitals. Columbus is 16-2-4 after an 11-14-4 start that had it 11 points out of a playoff berth Dec. 8.
The multigoal game was the third in a row for Bjorkstrand, a forward who scored twice against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 21, then missed four weeks with a rib/oblique injury before returning Sunday and scoring twice in a 2-1 win at the New York Rangers. He's the first player in Blue Jackets history to have a multigoal performance in three consecutive appearances. Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals (Jan. 13-18) and Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins (Dec. 21-27) are the other players to accomplish the feat this season.
Bjorkstrand also accomplished another Blue Jackets' feat by scoring the game-winning goal in three consecutive appearances. He's the third player in team history to do so, joining Artem Anisimov (March 1-4, 2014) and matched by Seth Jones (March 8-12, 2018).
Staal leads Wild to win in All-Star tuneup
Eric Staal prepared for his sixth All-Star Game appearance with a goal and an assist in the second period, helping the Minnesota Wild defeat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at Xcel Energy Center for their 13th come-from-behind win this season.
The 35-year-old center had the 235th multipoint performance of his NHL career (San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton leads all active players with 385) after he was honored in a ceremony for getting his 1,000th NHL point Dec. 15.
The Red Wings got their two goals from 20-year-old forward Filip Zadina, the No. 6 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft. It was the first multigoal game in the NHL for Zadina, whose five goals are tied with Tampa Bay Lightning center Carter Verhaeghe for second among rookies since the start of 2020.