|Date of game: 12/31/2014
Recap: Columbus vs. Minnesota
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves to help the Columbus Blue Jackets top the Minnesota Wild, 3-1, on Wednesday.
The Blue Jackets got goals from Kevin Connauton, David Savard and Ryan Johansen to wrap up an outstanding 10-1-1 month of December. Connauton also added an assist, and Brandon Dubinsky was credited with two helpers.
Johansen's empty-netter was his first goal since Nov. 29.
"It was a good pass over, and I just had to hit the net," said Johansen. "That was good."
The Wild got their only goal from Zach Parise in the first period as they lost for the sixth time in their last seven games.
Darcy Kuemper faced 25 shots and made 23 saves in the loss.
In the second period, the Blue Jackets held the Wild without a shot for the final nine minutes. With less than a minute until the second intermission, they got a break at the other end of the ice.
Kuemper lost his goal-stick when he had trouble handling a wrist shot from Matt Calvert in the slot. Christian Folin cleared the puck out of the crease, but it went right to Connauton along the boards. While Kuemper lunged to recover his stick, Connauton wristed a puck past him for the equalizer.
"I dropped my stick on the save before, and the puck got shot into the corner, so I went to pick it up," said Kuemper. "It shot right out to the guy for the one-timer, and as I was picking it up, he shot it."
Owning the league's second best power play at 24 percent, the Blue Jackets took advantage of their second chance in the third period. Connauton set up Savard for a one-timer from a similar spot to where Connauton scored himself, and the blast beat Kuemper for the go-ahead goal.
With less than a minute to go, Johansen ended his goal drought with a shot into the empty net from center ice.
On its second power play late in the first period, Minnesota's early pressure finally resulted in a goal. Thomas Vanek found Mikko Koivu in the slot, but as the Blue Jackets defense converged on him, he made the extra pass to Parise sitting open at the side of the net instead of shooting himself. Parise easily beat Bobrovsky for the opening goal.Game Notes
Prior to his 500th NHL game, Columbus' Nick Foligno signed a six-year contract
extension and finished the contest with an assist ... Johansen extended his
point streak to five games ... The Blue Jackets entered the game being
outscored 47-24 in the final period ... The season series between these teams
concludes on Jan. 19 in Minnesota.