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game recap

Bjorkstrand scores twice, Blue Jackets top Jets for sixth victory in row

Has four goals, two game-winners in past two games since return from injury

by Craig Merz / Independent Correspondent

Bjorkstrand's go-ahead goal

WPG@CBJ: Bjorkstrand sends puck top shelf for lead

Oliver Bjorkstrand skates in and flicks a shot to the top corner for his second goal, giving the Blue Jackets a 4-3 lead in the 3rd period

  • 00:44 •

COLUMBUS -- Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, including the tiebreaking goal with 5:38 left in the third period, and the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday for their season-high sixth straight win.

The Blue Jackets rallied three times from down a goal in the final game for the two teams before the All-Star Game and their League-mandated five-day break.

"You've got to finish the job, and I think we did a good job sticking with it tonight," Bjorkstrand said. "Just found a way to get back in the game every time we got behind and just kept going."


[WATCH: All Jets vs. Blue Jackets highlights]


Seth Jones had a goal and an assist, Pierre-Luc Dubois tied his NHL career high with three assists, and Elvis Merzlikins made 27 saves for the Blue Jackets (27-16-8), who are 16-2-4 in the past 22 games.

Kyle Connor had a goal and an assist, Luca Sbisa had two assists, and Laurent Brossoit made 25 saves for the Jets (25-22-4), who have lost four straight and six of seven, including a 4-1 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

"Get the [heck] home and don't expend 10 more minutes thinking about this game. Recuperate," Jets coach Paul Maurice said of his message to the players.

Video: WPG@CBJ: Bjorkstrand whips home give-and-go

Bjorkstrand avoided a check along the right boards by Dmitry Kulikov and skated toward the goal before putting a shot underneath the crossbar for the 4-3 lead.

"That's not slipping a check, that's breaking through, and that's the biggest thing he's improved at, is playing along the wall," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "He's always been good at making himself small to get through, but the biggest improvement in his game toward the end of last year all through this is his strength with the puck."

Brossoit was upset at himself on the winning goal.

"That one is frustrating, obviously a sharp angle like that," he said. "I'd like to have that one [back]."

Bjorkstrand has four goals in the past two games after missing 13 with oblique and rib injuries. He also scored twice and had the game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory at the New York Rangers on Sunday.

"The team's been going well," Bjorkstrand said. "It's a lot easier coming into a lineup where guys are just going."

Video: WPG@CBJ: Nyquist dives to knock in loose puck

He is the first player in Blue Jackets history to have a personal multigoal streak of three games. He scored twice against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 21 in his last game before the injuries kept him out of the lineup.

Bjorkstrand has 11 points (nine goals, two assists) in the past six games he's played.

"He's fearless now and he's getting rewarded for it," Columbus forward Nick Foligno said. "He puts himself in such great position because he gets around, he gets his nose dirty and that he's now in the scoring area."

The Jets got a fortunate bounce for a 1-0 lead at 4:38 of the first period when a shot from above the left circle by Mathieu Perreault deflected off Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington to Mason Appleton in the slot for his second goal.

Jones tied it 1-1 at 6:06 with a wrist shot inside the left post. His fifth goal was his first in 23 games.

Video: WPG@CBJ: Jones charges in, fires puck past Brossoit

Connor gave the Jets a 2-1 lead at 17:06 with a waist-high redirection of a shot by Anthony Bitetto for his 25th goal.

His 15 goals since Dec. 1 are second in the NHL to the 18 by Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bjorkstrand tied it 2-2 at 1:28 of the second.

Neal Pionk's goal eight seconds into a power play at 15:33 gave the Jets a 3-2 lead.

Gustav Nyquist tied it 3-3 at 17:55 on the power play. A shot by Dubois got behind Brossoit, and Nyquist dived headfirst to get his stick on the puck.

"We came out right. Scoring the first goal was big," Appleton said. "We played our game. We played a lot of good hockey, but we have a couple of things to clean up in the neutral zone. This one stings."

Video: WPG@CBJ: Connor nets redirection off his own glove


They said it

"I don't know if you can give more than you have given the past two nights. This group has given everything. I don't know if before the season I anticipated the type of fight this team showed as competitive as we've been. I'm pretty proud of that." -- Jets captain Blake Wheeler

"The mindset we've had these last eight weeks game in and game out has been pretty good, and we're getting results." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones


Need to know

Connor is the fourth United States-born player to score at least 25 goals this season, joining Matthews (34), Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres (28) and the Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (25). … Dubois also had three assists in a 4-3 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 22, 2018. … Merzlikins is 5-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .970 save percentage and three shutouts in his past five starts. ... Tortorella tied Claude Julien for 13th in NHL history with his 649th win.


What's next

Jets: Host the Boston Bruins on Jan. 31 (8 p.m. ET; TVAS, TSN3, NESN, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: At the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 1 (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Video: Bjorkstrand leads Blue Jackets to 4-3 win vs. Jets

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