COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Kevin Connauton had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Wednesday night.
With the game knotted at 1 in the third, Columbus scored a power-play goal at 5:57. Cycling the puck, Connauton slid a pass to David Savard at the top of the left circle. His hard one-timer beat goalie Darcy Kuemper stick side inside the near post.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: 2,424 Cases, 3 Deaths Reported Friday
Ryan Johansen added an empty-netter for his first goal in 12 games and Brandon Dubinsky had two assists for Columbus, which went 10-1-1 in December. It was the third time in franchise history that the Blue Jackets won at least 10 games in a month.
Zach Parise scored a power-play goal for the Wild, who were 0 for 4 on the power play and have had 11 of their last 14 games decided by one goal.
The Wild, near the bottom of the league on the power play, had two chances with a man advantage in the opening period and scored on the second.
With James Wisniewski off for holding, Thomas Vanek carried the puck from behind the Columbus goal cage and fed Mikko Koivu in the right circle for a quick pass to the right doorstep for Parise’s one-timer that beat Bobrovsky inside the near post. It was Parise’s 14th goal of the season.
Bobrovsky had earlier stymied Koivu on a weakside one-timer.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot On Downtown St. Paul LRT Platform; 2 Others Killed In Separate Shootings
Johansen had a prime chance late in the first but Kuemper deflected the point-blank shot with his shoulder.
The Blue Jackets evened things on a relatively innocent play with 46 seconds left in the second period.
After a scrum in front of the net, the puck ended up at the short boards on the left wing and Kuemper ended up without his stick. Connauton fired a low shot that slid past two defenders and eluded Kuemper, who had turned away the first 15 shots he’d faced.
Kuemper finished with 23 saves.
NOTES: During pregame warmups, Columbus announced it had extended the contract of left wing Nick Foligno through the 2020-21 season for a reported $33 million. … Foligno was playing in his 500th career NHL game. … It was the Wild’s first road game on New Year’s Eve in eight years. … The Blue Jackets placed RW Cam Atkinson on the injured list on Tuesday (shoulder). He’s expected to miss a week or two. … The Wild reassigned G John Curry to Iowa (AHL) earlier in the day and activated starting G Niklas Backstrom, who had missed the last three games with an illness. … Minnesota came in having lost 86 man games to injury; Columbus had lost 223.MORE NEWS: Jackie Young Scores 25 For Aces In 93-87 Win Over Lynx
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