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game recap

Cam Atkinson has four assists in Blue Jackets win

Sam Gagner scores twice as Columbus gets eight goals against St. Louis

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Even though the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the St. Louis Blues 8-4 at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, there was not a lot of satisfaction.

"As the game went on it turned into a very sloppy game," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I'm really not crazy about our checking.

"I'm happy we won it, but I don't think it developed our culture because we have a number of things to correct."


WATCH: All Blues vs. Blue Jackets highlights


Still, there was much to like from the Blue Jackets' standpoint.

Sam Gagner had two goals and Cam Atkinson set an NHL career high with four assists for Columbus (7-4-2). The Blue Jackets had 13 players with points, seven of whom had at least two, including Nick Foligno with a goal and two assists. Sergei Bobrovsky made 33 saves.

"It's nice when you're able to score some goals and get some confidence that way, but we can't let our habits slip and we have to make sure we're playing the right way," Gagner said.

Video: STL@CBJ: Gagner chips in second goal of game

Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and three assists, Robby Fabbri scored twice and David Perron had three assists when the Blues (7-6-3) scored four power-play goals against the NHL's best penalty kill (tied with St. Louis).

"We're getting a lot of breakdowns," St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Every mistake we make ends up in the back of our net."

Eight days after the Blue Jackets defeated the Montreal Canadiens 10-0 in Nationwide Arena, they were at it again. Gagner's sixth goal of the season and second of the game at 5:18 of the second period gave Columbus a 4-1 lead and led to Blues goaltender Jake Allen being pulled after making eight saves.

Carter Hutton allowed a goal on his first shot for the first goal of the season by Brandon Dubinsky at 5:56 for a 5-1 lead. Hutton made 14 saves.

Rookie defenseman Markus Nutivaara scored his first NHL goal at 10:52 to put Columbus ahead 6-1. William Karlsson made it 7-1 at 13:30 before Fabbri made it 7-2 at 15:56.

Video: STL@CBJ: Karlsson scores from the top of the circle


Goal of the game

Gagner opened the scoring at 2:34 of the first by skating from beneath the goal line and scooping a backhanded shot over Allen and underneath the crossbar.

Video: STL@CBJ: Gagner roofs backhander to open scoring


Save of the game

Tarasenko was going for his second goal and fifth point of the game and had Bobrovsky down after cutting around him, but the goaltender still managed to deflect the shot with his pads with three minutes left in the third period.


Unsung moment of the game

St. Louis was trailing 3-1 three minutes into the second period but couldn't get any closer because Bobrovsky made a save on Jay Bouwmeester through traffic with his glove, then slid to his left to get in front of the rebound shot by Dmitrij Jaskin. Three minutes later, Gagner scored for a 4-1 Columbus lead.


Highlight of the game

The way to score on the Columbus penalty kill is to move the puck quickly, and there was no better example than the goal by Fabbri in the second period. All the attention was on Tarasenko to the right of the goal, so he sent a pass to the goalmouth where Fabbri had an open net waiting for him.

Video: STL@CBJ: Fabbri cuts into deficit with PPG


They said it

"It's nice to see a lot of pucks go in the back of the net right now. We have to continue to work on our defensive game. If we put the two together, I like our team and we can be really dangerous." -- Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky

Video: STL@CBJ: Dubinsky sweeps in first goal of the year


"Soft on the puck. Soft on coverage. We're not competing hard enough at the puck and we're not firm with it. That's a bad recipe. We're firm in the offensive end so we've reversed the trend." -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock


"It's a crazy game. It's definitely not happy for a goalie. Four goals is a little too much." -- Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky


"It's alarming. It's very alarming. It's not just the eight. It's six against Dallas. Five against the Rangers. We need to get back to the little things that made us good." -- Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk


Video: STL@CBJ: Blues net four power-play goals in loss


Need to know

Hitchcock, who will retire after this season, coached for the final time in Nationwide Arena. He coached the Blue Jackets from 2006-10 and is first on the Columbus games coached list (284) and second in wins (125). … Blues forward Alexander Steen is stuck on 199 NHL goals after going goalless in 10 games. … The Blue Jackets were a plus-35 while Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was a minus-5. …The Blue Jackets have completed their two-game season series against the Blues, the Anaheim Ducks, the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks.


Video: STL@CBJ: Nutivaara nets first goal of career


What's next

Blues: Home against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (8 p.m., ET; FS-MW, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Home against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)


Video: Blue Jackets double up Blues, 8-4

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