Blue Jackets Beat Penguins – Atkinson Scores Twice

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cam Atkinson had two goals, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets broke an eight-game losing streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 4-1 victory Saturday night.

Boone Jenner and Oliver Bjorkstrand also scored for the Blue Jackets. They had lost four of their last six — including a 3-0 loss to the Penguins on Thursday night — and desperately needed a win to stay in the mix for an Eastern Conference wild-card playoff spot. Columbus started the day two points below the wild-card line.

Zach Aston-Reese scored for Pittsburgh in the second period and Matt Murray, starting his seventh straight game, had 29 saves.

Bobrovsky, who was a healthy scratch Thursday, bounced back with an exceptional game against the Penguins, who were 4-0-2 in their last six and started the day in third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky
Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Jenner went into the box for slashing 20 seconds into the game, then made up for it by taking a feed from Josh Anderson on a rush and beating Murray to give the Blue Jackets the lead 2:31 into the game.

Atkinson scored a short-handed goal early in the second when Pittsburgh’s Phil Kessel went sprawling and the Columbus winger found himself with a loose puck and an open net. He snapped it in over Murray for his team-leading 37th goal of the season.

Pittsburgh pulled it back to a one-goal game at 6:39 of the second when Zach Aston-Reese took Evgeni Malkin’s pass on the doorstep and beat Bobrovsky.

Bjorkstrand tapped in the insurance goal off a short pass from Ryan Dzingel with 3:01 left, and Atkinson got his 38th of the season when he added an empty-netter at the 1:49 mark.

NOTES: Kessel played in 314th straight game for Pittsburgh, the second-longest streak in franchise history. Craig Adams holds the record with 319. … Anderson got his 100th career NHL point. … Atkinson has 12 career short-handed goal, two short of the franchise record. … Columbus last beat Pittsburgh in the regular season on Feb. 17, 2017 (2-1 in overtime). … Malkin has a nine-game points streak against the Blue Jackets. … Columbus is 27-5-2 this season when scoring the first goal.


Pittsburgh: At Boston on Sunday night.

Columbus: At New York Islanders on Monday night.


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Mitch Stacy, The Associated Press