Atkinson scores in shootout and Blue Jackets slip past Devils 2-1

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

NEWARK, N.J. - Cam Atkinson scored in the shootout to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

Curtis McElhinney made 16 saves for Columbus, which has won three in a row. Artem Anisimov scored the Blue Jackets' goal in regulation.

New Jersey has lost two in a row. Martin Brodeur stopped 29 of 30 shots, and Adam Henrique scored for the Devils in the third period.

Atkinson scored the only goal in the shootout.

Anisimov gave Columbus a 1-0 lead 7:34 into the game when he roofed a Brandon Dubinsky rebound over Brodeur.

The goal was the 11th of the season for Anisimov, and for Dubinsky, his assist was seventh point in three games against the Devils this season.

The Blue Jackets had opportunities to take control in the second, but could not solve Brodeur. He made 10 saves in the period, highlighted by stopping Atkinson on a breakaway at 1:24.

The Columbus right wing blocked Eric Gelinas' point shot, and then beat the New Jersey defenceman to the loose puck in the neutral zone to begin the play.

Even though Brodeur was very good in the second, Columbus had three opportunities on the power play in the period and allowed just four shots. The Blue Jackets finished the game 0 for 5 on the man advantage in 8:26 of power play time.

While Brodeur was busy in the first two periods, McElhinney only faced nine shots on goal and stopped them all.

But New Jersey began to pressure Columbus in the third. The Devils had eight shots on goal in the period and finished with 17 for the game.

The offensive attack paid off when Henrique drew the Devils even at 1-1 at 5:45 of the third when he shoved a rebound of a Patrik Elias shot past McElhinney before crashing into the Columbus goaltender. The goal was the seventh of the season for Henrique.

NOTES: Clowe returned to the Devils lineup Friday night after missing 31 games with post-concussion symptoms following a Jacob Trouba elbow on Oct. 13. "He's been out for a while," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said when he met with reporters following the morning skate. He's worked really hard at keeping himself and getting himself back into good shape. He's done a ton of off-ice stuff so I don't think conditioning will be an issue, but anytime you miss that kind of time he missed and jump in at this point in the season, timing and things like that are going to be things he has to work through." ... The game was the first for both teams following the NHL's three-day holiday break. "Sometimes coming out of breaks like this it's about trying to finding that edge, again," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said after the morning skate. "For me it's the mental side of the game."

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