COLUMBUS, Ohio — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice in the first-period, Joonas Korpisalo stopped 21 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets cruised to a 5-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Vladislav Gavrikov, Zach Werenski and Gustav Nyquist also scored for Blue Jackets, who won their fourth straight despite being ravaged by injuries. They have earned at least one point in a season-high seven consecutive games (5-0-2).
Will Butcher scored for the Devils and Gilles Senn, starting his first NHL game, made 34 saves. The Devils lost their second game in two nights after falling to Washington 6-3 on Friday.
It took just 26 seconds for the Blue Jackets to beat the Devils’ rookie goaltender. Bjorkstrand got a pass off the wall from Boone Jenner and connected with a one-timer from the high slot for his 11th goal of the season.
Bjorkstrand got his second of the game at 8:06 of the first period when Pierre-Luc Dubois fed him in the slot. The two goals came on the Blue Jackets’ first three shots.
Bjorkstrand has five goals and two assists in a four-game point streak.
Butcher’s first goal in 13 games made it 2-1 later in the period. He banged one past Korpisalo from the left circle during 4-on-4 play.
Gavrikov snapped a shot past Senn’s blocker with 6:47 left in the second to make it 3-1.
Werenski added a short-handed, empty-net goal with 2:52 remaining in the game, and Gustav Nyquist matched it with 1:12 left to complete the scoring.
Jenner and Seth Jones both had two assists for Columbus.
The Blue Jackets are winning despite a crowded trainer’s room. On Saturday they had at least nine players out due to injury or illness, causing coach John Tortorella to put together lines consisting of veterans and players who started the season in the minors.
The Devils have lost five of seven and are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, 11 points behind seventh-place Columbus.
Bjorkstrand left the bench in the third period and didn’t return. The problem wasn’t clear. … Columbus was without forward Cam Atkinson, who sustained a lower-body injury in Thursday’s overtime win against Los Angeles. He is expected to miss at least one more game. … Dubois played in his 200th NHL game. He has seven points in his past five. … Columbus D David Savard missed a second game due to illness. … New Jersey D Connor Carrick played for the first time since he was injured in October. … Columbus forward Ryan MacInnis made his NHL debut.
Devils: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
Blue Jackets: At the New York Islanders on Monday.
Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press