Nash notches goal and assist as Blue Jackets beat Wild, 4-2


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Riley Nash had a goal and an assist, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Thursday night.

Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin also scored to help the Blue Jackets move ahead of Washington for the Metropolitan Division lead.

Nash, who signed as a free agent last summer, got his first goal in 29 games — and first as a Blue Jacket — in the second period and assisted on Markus Hannikainen’s first-period tally. Columbus has won two in a row and six out of eight.

Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise scored for Minnesesota, and Devan Dubnyk made 25 saves. The Wild have lost two in a row and four of six.

Granlund’s slap shot from the slot started it, putting the Wild on the board 7:46 into the game.

Hannikainen tapped in a bouncing puck later in the period to tie it.

Atkinson extended his points streak to nine games — tying his career high — when he beat Dubnyk from the right circle near the end of a power play early in the second period.

Nash scored a few minutes later, redirecting a pass from Zach Weresnki, and Panarin’s wrist shot clanged in off the right post at 11:24 to make it a 4-1 game for Columbus.

Parise got one of them back for the Wild 42 seconds later off a wrap-around, extending his point streak to six games, but Minnesota couldn’t get any closer a both teams played a scoreless third period.

Notes: Columbus’ John Tortorella coached his 1,200th NHL game, becoming the 18th coach in league history and the fifth active coach to reach that mark. … Wild D Greg Pateryn returned after missing one game because of illness. He replaced Nate Prosser. … Columbus F Anthony Duclair was scratched in favor of F Oliver Bjorkstrand, who was a healthy scratch for the past four games. Tortorella said Duclair is “dinged up” and day-to-day. … Minnesota G Alex Stalock and Columbus D Scott Harrington each played in their 100th career NHL game. … Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois’ two assists game him 14 points in his past nine games.