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DeBrincat, Blackhawks rally to beat Blue Jackets 4-3

 
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist, Kevin Lankinen stopped 23 shots and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from an early two-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Saturday night.

Carl Soderberg, Wyatt Kalynuk and Dylan Strome also scored for the Blackhawks, who had dropped five of the last seven while battling Nashville and Dallas for the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division.

Michael Del Zotto, Cam Atkinson and Patrik Laine had goals for Columbus, and Elvis Merzlikins made 24 saves. The Blue Jackets have lost two straight and nine of the last 11.

Earlier in the day, Columbus traded one of the team’s longest-tenured players, defenseman David Savard, to Tampa Bay for draft choices.

The Blue Jackets started strong and then faded.

Del Zotto connected on a shot from the blue line 1:03 into the game, and two minutes later Atkinson tapped in a goal off a nice feed from Jack Roslovic from the right wall to put Columbus up 2-0.

“We just weren’t ready to play,” DeBrincat said. “We were getting beat off the wall, missing checks. That’s pretty much what was said in the time out, just wake up a bit. I think we did a good job of scoring a few there and winning the game.”

DeBrincat scored on a one-timer from the right circle in the final seconds of a power play at 10:13 of the first. Then Soderberg tied it when he lifted a short shot over Merzlikins’ shoulder late in the first.

Chicago grabbed the lead early in the second when the puck barely trickled over the goal line as Columbus’ Kevin Stenlund dug at it trying to clear, with rookie Kalynuk getting credit for his first NHL goal. Strome tallied late in the second.

With an empty net on the other end, Laine made it 4-3 with 49 seconds left in the game but time ran out for Columbus.

“I don’t think we played hard enough through the middle part of that game,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “Found our way in the third period.”

SHORT-HANDED

The Blue Jackets were without forward Boone Jenner and defenseman Zach Werenski because of recent injuries. Injured center Riley Nash was traded to Toronto on Friday for a seventh-round draft pick in 2022.

DE HAAN HURT

Chicago defenseman Calvin de Haan suffered a hip pointer and did not play in the third period. “I don’t think it’s long term but we’ll have to see how he is the next couple of days,” Chicago coach Jeremy Colliton said.

HE’LL TAKE IT

The 23-year-old Kalynuk’s first NHL goal was in question briefly while officials reviewed video to make sure the puck crossed the line. Then it withstood a review after the Blue Jackets challenged the play for goaltender interference.

“Obviously, not how I could’ve imagined it,” he said. “I think even after it was reviewed, I saw it a few times and I didn’t think it was even close. But the ref must’ve gotten a good view of it from behind the net. It’s something you dream of. I know my mom and dad and grandma Betty are smiling back home so it feels good, for sure.”

HE SAID IT

“It wasn’t pretty, but we don’t care if it’s pretty,” Colliton said. “We need the points.

FAREWELL TO FOLIGNO?

Captain Nick Foligno was scratched and may have played his last game as a Blue Jacket. Foligno was reported to have an upper-body injury but could possibly be traded before Monday’s deadline. The 33-year-old Foligno, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, has played 599 games for Columbus since being traded from Ottawa in 2012.

UP NEXT

The teams wrap up a two-game series Monday in Columbus.



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Lightning get early goals in 6-4 win over Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Tampa Bay scored three times in the first six minutes of the game, Andrei Vasilevskiy made 32 saves and the Lightning beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-4 on Thursday night.

Blake Coleman roofed a shot 58 seconds in, and then Steven Stamkos and Barclay Goodrow scored a minute apart to put the Blue Jackets in an early hole.

Ryan McDonagh scored twice, and Ross Colton also had a goal as the Lightning stopped a three-game skid and earned a split of the two-game series with Columbus as they duel the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes for supremacy in the Central Division. Yanni Gourde had four assists, and Goodrow added two assists.

“I like the way we started,” McDonagh said. “It was good energy and good forechecking and good play coming out of the zone. That allows us to get to the offensive zone and make things happen.”

Jack Roslovic had a goal and an assist, and Michael Del Zotto, Zach Werenski and Max Domi also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped eight of the last 10 games. Joonas Korpisalo stopped three of the Lightning’s first six shots before being benched for Elvis Merzlikins, who made 21 saves the rest of the way.

Goodrow’s goal, which went in off the skate of Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine, chased Korpisalo just 5:41 into the game.

“It’s not as if we weren’t ready,” Werenski said. “Obviously, we knew they’ve lost a few games and would come out hard, but when you start like that it’s tough to recover from.”

Del Zotto cut to the lead to two goals when he snapped in a shot from the slot late in the first, but the Lightning extended it again when a puck off the stick of McDonagh trickled under Merzlikins and across the line.

Colton kept up the pressure for the Lightning on a rush early in the second period. A charging Roslovic scored for the Blue Jackets late in the second, but McDonagh answered 1:48 later with his second goal.

“The guys, they had good mojo going tonight on the offensive side of the puck,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “It was a little relief for the guys. Now we’ve just got to keep this going.”

Werenski and Domi got third-period goals, but the Blue Jackets ran out of time.

NO MORE SAVARD?

Longtime Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard was a healthy scratch for the game, likely signaling the team’s intention to trade him before Monday’s deadline. The 30-year-old Savard, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season, has been with Columbus since the 2011-12 season and has played 597 games with the team.

THURSDAY NIGHT FIGHTS

After Stefan Matteau leveled the Lightning’s Mikhail Sergachev with a monster hit in the third period, Cal Foote jumped the Blue Jackets rookie and the two brawled briefly. Matteau and Foote went to the penalty box for the fight, and Foote got an extra two minutes for instigating.

ICE CHIPS

Stamkos’ power-play goal was his 10th of the season. The Blue Jackets as a team have scored just 14 times with the man advantage. … Colton has six goals and nine points in his first 14 NHL games. … Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. Luke Schenn was scratched to make room. … Columbus center Boone Jenner is expected to miss the rest of the season after he had surgery Wednesday on a broken finger.

UP NEXT

Lightning: Start a two-game series with Nashville on Saturday before heading home for a six-game stand.

Blue Jackets: Open a two-game series with Chicago on Saturday before embarking on a six-game road trip



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Wennberg scores 3 as Panthers beat Blue Jackets 5-2

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Alex Wennberg had his first career hat trick as the Florida Panthers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Saturday night.

MacKenzie Weegar and Frank Vatrano each had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 44 shots to help the Panthers win their season-high fifth straight.

In his first game back after a six-game absence, Panthers’ No. 1 center Aleksander Barkov tallied the primary assist on Weegar’s goal.

Florida honored Bobrovsky for his 500th NHL game – played Feb. 10, 2020, in Philadelphia – in a pregame ceremony, and the Russian goalie improved to 5-1-1 against his former club.

Oliver Bjorkstrand and Zach Werenski scored for Columbus. Elvis Merzlikins made 22 saves through two periods but was replaced by Joonas Korpisalo, who stopped 12 shots in the third.

After a scoreless first period, Barkov found himself right in the middle of a hard-working cycle in the second and sent a slick pass through the slot to Weegar at 3:57.

Signed as a free agent after playing six seasons in Columbus, Wennberg scored 52 seconds later by finishing a 2-on-1 pass from Vatrano.

Then he added his second of the night from the left circle at 8:47 for a 3-0 lead.

In the third, Bjorkstrand’s putback cut it to 3-1 at 2:46, but Vatrano regained the three-goal margin at 10:54 with a rebound tally on Owen Tippett’s breakaway.

After Werenski scored, Wennberg complete the hat trick into an empty-net for his 11th with 7 seconds left.

SIGNED … AND PLAYING

The Panthers signed defenseman Matt Kiersted out of the University of North Dakota on Thursday and put him on the ice Saturday.

Kiersted, 22, was one of seven defensemen in the lineup as coach Joel Quenneville opted to use just 11 forwards. The lefty shot logged 12:47of ice time and blocked a team-high four shots in his NHL debut.

SCRATCHED

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella has openly criticized the play of Jack Roslovic – acquired from Winnipeg with Patrik Laine on Jan. 23 – over the past few games and decided to make the Columbus native a healthy scratch in the team’s first game in South Florida.

Roslovic, 24, has six goals and 16 assists in 31 games for his hometown club.

BRIEF STAY

The Panthers made a trade Friday afternoon, sending forward Vinnie Hinostroza to his hometown Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for minor-league forward Brad Morrison.

A native of the western Chicago suburb of Bartlett, the 27-year-old Hinostroza failed to register a point in nine games in his first season with the Panthers, primarily skating on the fourth line.

Morrison, 24, has appeared in nine total games in stints in the AHL and ECHL this season.

NUMBERS GAME

In their 20th home game this season, the Panthers had 4,375 fans in attendance.

UP NEXT

The two clubs will conclude their two-game set on Sunday.



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