Blue Jackets score early, often against Sharks

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Blue Jackets waited for a night like this, when the puck seemed like a friend and not a foreign object. But nobody could have expected it to happen against San Jose.
Columbus got three goals from defensemen, scored three goals in the first six minutes of the third period and cruised to a 6-2 win over the Sharks on Monday night in Nationwide Arena.
The six goals were a season high for the Blue Jackets. Previously, they hadn't scored more than four.
"I feel like we deserved a night like this, like it was long overdue," Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski said. "Tonight, guys played with confidence, and our guys up front worked hard and buried their chances."
Brandon Dubinsky, Cody Goloubef, Nikita Nikitin, Vinny Prospal, Mark Letestu and Wisniewski scored for the Blue Jackets, and goaltender Steve Mason had 25 saves.
Goloubef's goal was his first in the NHL, and the goals by Dubinsky and Nikitin were their first of the season.
"In every aspect of the game, we beat them," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "That's a really, really good hockey team, and we played with them. We were better than them tonight."
Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who are 0-3-2 since a 7-0 start this season. In their losing streak, the Sharks have scored only seven goals.
Asked where they fell short, San Jose coach Todd McLellan offered a long list.
"Out-worked, out-executed, out-detailed, out-goaltended, out-a lot of things," McLellan said. "This one sucks. It's pretty simple.
"The others (during the losing streak), we were involved in the game, we had every opportunity to win those other games. We got good goaltending, our (defense) moved the puck, our forwards were involved. None of that happened here tonight. Basically, it's the first time this season where we've laid an egg as bad as we did tonight."
Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss struggled badly, stopping just 30 of 36 shots. He allowed a goal on the first shot of the game (Dubinsky), the first shot of the third period (Nikitin) and later in the third on consecutive shots only eight seconds apart (Prospal, Letestu).
For Columbus, it was a celebratory end to a difficult six-game homestand. They salvaged a 2-3-1 record.
Only 43 seconds into the game, Dubinsky beat Pavelski to a rebound on the doorstep, jamming it past Greiss to end a 13-game drought without a goal.
The Blue Jackets pushed the lead to 2-0 with a rare power-play goal at 13:05 of the second period when Wisniewski found space in the slot and buried a feed from Jackets center Derick Brassard.
Goloubef made it 3-0 barely a minute later when his wrister from the blue line made it through traffic before Greiss could locate it.
The Sharks responded only 13 seconds later on Marleau's 10th goal of the season.
That goal seemed to set up an interesting final 20 minutes, but the Blue Jackets quickly ended any drama.
Nikitin stepped into a one-timer only 21 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1.
Another power play goal, this time by Prospal on an nifty setup by Nick Foligno, made it 5-1 at 5:37 of the third. Only eight seconds later, Letestu scored on a wobbly wrister from the slot to make it 6-1.
NOTES: The Blue Jackets have played nine of their first 13 games in Nationwide Arena, and now they pay the price. The Jackets open a six-game trip on Friday with stops in three difference time zones. ... Looking to add toughness to their lineup, the Sharks recalled defenseman Matt Pelech from AHL Worcester. Pelech, who dressed as a forward Monday, played five games with the Calgary Flames during the 2008-09 season, producing three assists. ... Blue Jackets winger Jared Boll fought Pelech in the first period, earning his franchise-record 120th fighting major. Jody Shelley (119) had been Columbus' leader in that category. ... The two goals eight seconds apart matched a franchise record for Columbus. During the 2008-09 season, Nikita Filatov scored eight seconds apart against Nashville.

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