Blue Jackets 5, Devils 4
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Right winger Cam Atkinson and center Brandon Dubinsky each had the first four-point game of his career, and the Columbus Blue Jackets came back from two early deficits to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 Tuesday night in Nationwide Arena.
Atkinson had two goals and two assists, while Dubinsky had one goal and three assists. Left winger Matt Calvert and left winger Nick Foligno also scored for the Jackets, while goaltender Curtis McElhinney, subbing for injured starter Sergei Bobrovsky, had 30 saves.
Foligno's goal came with 91 seconds remaining and broke a 4-4 tie.
The Devils scored only 32 seconds in the game and had a 3-1 lead 1:08 into the second period.
But the Blue Jackets' No. 2 line -- Calvert, Dubinsky and Atkinson - scored two goals only 49 seconds apart in the second period to tie it at 3.
Calvert scored only 18 seconds in the third to give Columbus the lead.
New Jersey got two goals from Damien Brunners, and one each from Travis Zajac and Michael Ryder, while goaltender Martin Brodeur finished with 18 saves.
Atkinson had been in a scoring funk in recent weeks, but has shown signs of warming lately. Dubinsky was given a game misconduct midway through the third period of Monday's 2-1 loss in Pittsburgh, preventing him from taking part in a late-game rally that fell short that night.
They both played like they had something to prove Tuesday.
At 7:09 of the first, with the Devils up 1-0 on Zajac's early goal, Atkinson was crashing the net when Dubinsky's shot kicked off Brodeur's pad, hit the inside of Atkinson's leg and went into the net.
Down 3-1 early in the second, Atkinson and Dubinsky both scrambled for a rebound in the crease left by Brodeur, but it was Dubinsky who last helped it over the goal line at 4:19 to make it 3-2.
One shift later, Atkinson scored from the doorstep to Brodeur's right after Dubinsky fed him the puck from behind the net.
The Blue Jackets didn't get the lead, though, until the line connected again on the first shift of the third.
Dubinsky went around Brunner for a clean look at Brodeur, and Calvert was there to finish the rebound for a 4-3 lead.
The Devils pulled into 4-4 tie with 6:01 remaining, when Brunner potted his second of the night off a rebound.
The Blue Jackets avoided overtime against a Metropolitan Division opponent in the final two minutes. A centering pass from Ryan Johansen kicked off Foligno's right skate and into the net, to break the tie.
NOTES: Devils D Marek Zidlicky returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. He took D Peter Harrold's spot in the lineup. ... Blue Jackets RW Marian Gaborik has skated daily for more than a week and could join the club for practice at some point next week. Gaborik has been out since Nov. 14 with a sprained knee. ... Blue Jackets RW Jack Skille was a healthy scratch for a third straight game.