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Devils come out sharp, blast Blue Jackets
Newark, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Adam Henrique scored twice, Cory Schneider stopped 17 shots and the New Jersey Devils downed the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break.
Henrique registered the final marker of a three-goal flurry early in the first period and added a short-handed tally late in the second to help the Devils win for the second time in their last three games.
Ryane Clowe and Jaromir Jagr recorded a goal apiece, while Patrik Elias picked up a pair of assists before adding an empty-netter late in the win.
"Great effort from our guys," Schneider said. "It's a good win coming out of the break."
Artem Anisimov notched a goal and an assist, while Marian Gaborik, who hadn't played since Dec. 21 due to a broken collarbone, also lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight games. Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 34 shots in the setback.
New Jersey jumped out to an early edge after finding the back of the net three times in a span of 2:45.
Clowe started the outburst at 6:09 when he rifled a wrister from the inner half of the right circle that beat Bobrovsky high to the far side.
The next two markers came on the power play, as Jagr stuffed in a rebound from the low right side at 7:31 before Henrique got a piece of an Andy Greene high point blast at 8:54 to stake the Devils to a 3-0 lead.
Jagr was whistled for hooking under a minute later and the Blue Jackets broke through just after the ensuing man-advantage expired, as Anisimov threw a shot on net from a sharp angle in the right corner that tipped off Schneider's stick and snuck across the goal line to make it 3-1 at 11:36.
Columbus cut into the lead again just past the midpoint of the second after a scrum in front of the New Jersey net saw the puck pop high into the air.
Camped out on the low right side, Gaborik used what appeared to be a high stick to knock the puck down, but no call was made and the veteran forward tapped the disc home to bring the Blue Jackets within 3-2 at 11:42.
Columbus had a chance to pull even late in the frame after Travis Zajac went off for hooking at 19:26, but Jack Johnson fanned on a shot at the right point early in the man-advantage.
Elias picked up the Johnson turnover and sent a chip-in high in the air to Henrique behind the defense. With only Bobrovsky to beat, Henrique ripped a quick wrister through the netminder's five-hole from between the circles for a 4-2 lead with under 20 seconds left in the second stanza.
"That was a huge goal at the end of the second period because I think we were starting to get some confidence and we were starting to feel good on the bench," Columbus head coach Todd Richards said of Henrique's short-handed tally. "Now you're down by two again and now you're chasing."
Schneider then turned away the only three shots he faced in the third and Elias' empty-netter in the final minute accounted for the final margin.
Despite the loss, Columbus claimed the season series 3-1 over its Metropolitan Division rival ... New Jersey forward Damien Brunner left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury ... New Jersey went 2-for-3 on the power play, while Columbus finished 0-for-3 ... Jagr's goal was the 699th of his career ... Gaborik scored his first goal since Oct. 25 against Toronto.
02/27 23:29:50 ET
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