Artemi Panarin recorded two goals and an assist as the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets notched a 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Columbus won for the fifth time in its past six games, including four straight victories away from home. The Blue Jackets are 18-9-1 in road games this season, marking the first time the franchise has won 18 of its first 28 road games in a season.
Ryan Murray recorded three assists for the Blue Jackets, giving the defenseman the first three-point game of his six-year NHL career.
Trade rumours have swirled around Panarin in recent weeks, though the speculation doesn’t seem to be affecting his play. The winger has 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in his past 23 games.
The Blue Jackets’ top line of Panarin, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson each found the net in the first period, highlighted by Dubois’ individual rush from his own end at 12:36. Dubois got the puck and brought it deep into Chicago’s territory, finishing the play with a high shot past Cam Ward for his 22nd goal of the season, giving the Columbus a 1-0 lead. After Patrick Kane’s power-play goal for the Blackhawks tied the score at 16:14, Panarin put Columbus back in front just 17 seconds later.
Panarin and Atkinson then extended the lead in the period’s final minute, combining on a two-on-one rush that ended with Atkinson’s 32nd goal of the season. The Blackhawks outshot Columbus by a 20-9 margin in the second period, finally breaking through at 19:26 on a goal from Jonathan Toews.
Once more, however, the Blue Jackets answered quickly. Just 12 seconds into the third period, Panarin made a no-look redirection of a Seth Jones point shot for his second goal of the night and 24th of the season.
Josh Anderson scored the Blue Jackets’ final goal, giving him five scores in his past eight games and 20 for the season.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 39 saves to earn his fifth victory in his past six starts.
Kane had a goal and an assist, extending a pair of notable streaks. Kane has recorded at least one point in each of his past 17 games (13 goals, 24 assists), tying Florida’s Mike Hoffman for the longest point streak in the NHL this season. It was also Kane’s 16th straight game with an assist, tying Jaromir Jagr for the sixth-longest assist streak in NHL history.
Jones, Sharks top Canucks again
San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and goalie Martin Jones beat his hometown team for the second time in a week as the Sharks defeated the visiting Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Saturday.
Pavelski forced a turnover on the forecheck in a 2-2 game, then cleaned up a rebound in the slot for his 31st goal at 13:06 of the final period. Vancouver rookie Elias Pettersson had a shot hit the post in the last minute, and the Sharks held on.
Pavelski, Timo Meier and Logan Couture all registered a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won seven of eight. Jones made 32 saves to improve to 9-1-1 against the Canucks. Antoine Roussel and Brock Boeser tallied for Vancouver, which is 3-5-1 since the All-Star break, and Loui Eriksson played in his 900th NHL game. Jacob Markstrom stopped 23 shots. San Jose travelled north on Monday and beat the Canucks 7-2. Jones, a North Vancouver native, earned the win with 25 saves in that one, and the teams’ third meeting of the season – all San Jose wins – started out in exactly the same manner.
Just as he did in the previous contest in Vancouver, Meier opened the scoring early in the first period, taking a one-touch pass from Erik Karlsson and zipping in his 21st goal from the low slot at 3:45 with San Jose on the power play.
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