COLUMBUS -- A poor start to the season and the burden of being a first-year captain for the Columbus Blue Jackets has made for a long season for Nick Foligno.
Foligno got a measure of satisfaction when he had three goals and an assist in a 6-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.
"I'm happy for him," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "It's been a grind."
The Blue Jackets (25-29-8), who lost their first eight games this season, have two regulation losses (8-2-4) in the past 14 games.
"Hopefully the gods were smiling tonight," Foligno said. "It was nice to contribute and help the guys. That's something I pride myself on."
This was the second NHL hat trick for Foligno; the first came April 4, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Video: NJD@CBJ: Foligno banks puck off skate for third goal
Foligno increased his season total to nine, 22 goals fewer than he scored last season. His four points are a career-high and the assist came on a power-play goal by Brandon Dubinsky, who played his 600th NHL game. Foligno's last goal came on Jan. 5 against the Minnesota Wild.
"That's a great player and great players have luck too," Blue Jackets center William Karlsson said of Foligno. "It was a matter of time."
Brandon Saad and Rene Bourque also scored for Columbus and Foligno's linemates Matt Calvert and Karlsson each had three assists.
"It was a pretty special night," Calvert said. "Points haven't come easy for me and [Karlsson]. We've been building some chemistry all year. I had a lot of fun tonight."
Joonas Korpisalo made 25 saves for the Blue Jackets.
Cory Schneider made eight saves in the first period when the Devils (30-25-7) trailed 3-0 before being replaced by Keith Kinkaid, who made 10 saves in relief.
Video: NJD@CBJ: Foligno sneaks a goal past Schneider
"Some of it was self-inflicted," Schneider said of the first-period deficit. "They were opportunistic. They put pucks to the net. When you do that, good things happen. A lot of what happened was a product of what we were doing."
Foligno scored twice in the first and Saad once, with Calvert getting the primary assists on all three goals.
"We weren't ready to play and that was the biggest difference in the game," Devils coach John Hynes said.
Foligno's first goal at 5:20 came off a blind feed from below the goal line by Calvert. Foligno fired from the low slot and followed with a rebound from his knees. His second goal came at 8:12 when he banked a shot off Schneider's skate, who misplayed the puck in front of the net.
Saad made it 3-0 at 19:13 with his 23rd goal this season to take the Blue Jackets' lead over Boone Jenner and tie his career-high set last season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
"Obviously that's unacceptable," Devils defenseman Andy Greene said. "You can't come out in the first like that, give away the game in the first. The only thing is I think we came out and responded in the second."
Video: NJD@CBJ: Foligno sets up Dubinsky for a pretty goal
Reid Boucher scored for the Devils at 1:38 of the second to make it 3-1.
New Jersey nearly scored four minutes later during its third power play, but forward Lee Stempniak's tipped shot hit the right post and was cleared off the line by Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray. Korpisalo made a point-blank stop of Devils defenseman David Schlemko during the power play.
With 7:45 left in the second, the Devils had a goal disallowed when it was ruled that Joseph Blandisi poked the puck through the pads of Korpisalo after the whistle was blown.
"The key part of the game, quite honestly, although it ended up 6-1, was the beginning of the second period," Tortorella said. "Korpisalo made some great saves. We fell asleep. They score another goal there, 3-2, it's a different game."
Less than two minutes after the disallowed goal, Foligno made it 4-1 after a centering pass hit the right skate of Schlemko. Foligno then capped the period with a behind-the-back pass to Dubinsky for his 14th goal this season at 18:47.
Bourque's empty-net goal with 1:01 remaining, his third this season, was his first in 22 games dating back to Dec. 29 against the Dallas Stars.
Video: Foligno collects hat trick in Blue Jackets' win