COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Stefan Noesen, Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt each had a goal and an assist, and Cory Schneider stopped 41 shots to lift the New Jersey Devils over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Travis Zajac also scored and rookie Nico Hischier had two assists for the Devils, one of several teams tussling with Columbus for first place in the rugged Metropolitan Division with a third of the season in the books. Schneider was outstanding in earning his 100th win with New Jersey during his fifth season with the franchise.
Nick Foligno scored and Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who lost their second straight and continued to squander opportunities with the man advantage. They continue to have the NHL’s worst power play, failing to find the back of the net on a half dozen opportunities Tuesday.
The Devils (16-7-4) struck first when Zajac picked up a loose puck in front of the Blue Jackets net and poked it past Bobrovsky 4:24 into the first period.
Foligno tied it later in the first period, just seconds after a Blue Jackets power play expired. He had his back to the net but deflected a shot from Oliver Bjorkstrand to beat Schneider. The Devils goalie held Columbus at bay from there.
At 4:47 of the second, Hischier slipped around Columbus defenseman Seth Jones and slid a pass to a charging Hall, who chipped it in from the bottom of the left circle to put the Devils up 2-1.
New Jersey got a third goal with less than a minute left in the second period when Bobrovsky lost track of a deflected shot that Noesen tipped in. Bratt capped the scoring in the third period.
NOTES: Columbus D Markus Nutivaara missed a second game with an upper-body injury. … New Jersey D Steven Santini returned after being scratched the past two games. He replaced D Ben Lovejoy. D Dalton Prout and F Pavel Zacha also were scratches for the Devils. … The Blue Jackets assigned forward Sonny Milano to Cleveland of the American Hockey League after the rookie went without a goal in his last 16 games. … Blue Jackets forward Markus Hannikainen was scratched. … Retired NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped the ceremonial first puck.
Devils: Host Columbus on Friday.
Blue Jackets: Play at New Jersey on Friday.