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game recap

Blue Jackets shut out Jets in Dubois return to Columbus

Merzlikins makes 36 saves; forward minus-2 in first game against former team after trade

by Craig Merz / Independent Correspondent

Werenski's power-play snipe

WPG@CBJ: Werenski rips puck short side for PPG

Zach Werenski sets up inside the circle and rips the puck upstairs, giving the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal

  • 00:36 •

COLUMBUS -- Elvis Merzlikins made 36 saves for his first shutout of the season, and the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday.

Gregory Hofmann, Zach Werenski and Andrew Peeke scored for the Blue Jackets (11-6-0), who have won four of five.

Merzlikins made 13 saves in the third period for his eighth NHL shutout in his 72nd game. He was not happy with his play in a 5-4 overtime win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and a 3-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

"The last two games I didn't play that well," he said. "Last day off I was just thinking more about how to come back to my performance at the start of the season. I tried to dial in from the first minute and focus on the game."

Video: WPG@CBJ: Hofmann buries Domi's dish to open scoring

Connor Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the Jets (9-6-4), who have one point in their past four games while scoring four goals.

"I wasn't overly concerned about our offensive game, believe it or not, but we're going to have to find different ways to get pucks to the net," Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said. "Tonight was the first time I thought we were looking for offense at the expense of our defense. That's the only time I've been concerned about it."

Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois and Blue Jackets center Jack Roslovic each played against his former team for the first time since the Jan. 23, 2021 trade that also sent forward Patrik Laine from Winnipeg to Columbus.

Hofmann scored at 15:09 of the first period for a 1-0 lead. Max Domi started a rush on the right wing and passed to the left circle for Hofmann's wrist shot that Hellebuyck got a piece of but could not save.

The Jets were 0-for-4 on the power play and have scored one goal in their past 22 attempts in a nine-game span.

"We had some good chances, and he [Merzlikins] made some good saves, but it felt like we could have tested him more," Winnipeg forward Andrew Copp said.

Werenski's power-play goal at 6:49 of the third period made it 2-0. He took a pass from Jakub Voracek at the top of the right circle and skated to the face-off dot.

"I didn't even look. It was a feel shot," Werenski said. "We were up by one, middle of the period. Figured I shoot. I was pretty low in the zone. I just closed my eyes and shot it."

The defenseman has scored eight points (three goals, five assists) in a six-game point streak.

"Werenski's goal was huge," Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. "Gives us a little breathing room. The timing of it, to get a two-goal lead is much different than one shot and they are tied. They came through huge at the right time."

Video: WPG@CBJ: Peeke scores in 3rd period

Peeke scored into an empty net with 3:33 left to make it 3-0. It was the defenseman's second goal in his 50th NHL game.

Dubois was minus-2 with two shots on goal. Roslovic played 11:36. Laine (oblique strain) was unavailable.

Dubois' best chance was on a partial break in the second period that Merzlikins gloved.

"He looked comfortable tonight," Larsen said of Merzlikins. "Sometimes when you watch your goalies, there are nights they look comfortable. Tonight, there was a lot going on. A lot of tips, traffic. He looked settled tonight. I'm happy he got the shutout. That was big for him."

NOTES: Peeke is the 20th Blue Jackets player to score this season. His first NHL goal was scored Feb. 16, 2020 in a 4-3 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils, his 12th NHL game. He has nine NHL assists (four this season). ... Domi has scored four points (one goal, three assists) in the past two games. ... Hofmann has scored three points (one goal, two assists) in the past two games.

Video: Merzlikins, Blue Jackets blank Jets, 3-0

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