Blue Jackets beat Coyotes 7-5 to end 5-game losing streak
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Columbus Blue Jackets are in the bottom third of the league in goals scored per game. They'd be a lot lower if not for a couple of games against Arizona.
Brandon Saad, Alexander Wennberg and Cam Atkinson each had a goal and two assists and the Blue Jackets beat the Coyotes 7-5 Thursday night to end a five-game losing streak.
The Blue Jackets are 22nd in the league with 2.44 goals per game, but they have 12 tallies in two games against Arizona, including a season high in this one.
''It's huge to see some guys score some big goals and kind of get their swagger back,'' Saad said. ''You never want to get into a shootout like that, but to score some goals like that, it's always fun.''
Arizona goalies Anders Lindback and Louis Domingue faced just 20 shots on goal. Lindback was given the starting job a few days ago with Mike Smith out for at least two months due to injury, and he allowed four goals on 10 shots. Domingue let in another two goals after entering in the second period.
Matt Calvert, Nick Foligno, David Clarkson and Brandon Dubinsky also scored for Columbus. Dubinsky's goal was an empty-netter. Scott Hartnell also had two assists.
''I don't have any other word for it,'' Columbus coach John Tortorella said. ''It was entertaining. No, I was not entertained. We have certainly played better and found ways to lose. We found a way to win and that's encouraging.''
Tobias Rieder had two goals for Arizona, and Antoine Vermette, Viktor Tikhonov and Jordan Martinook also scored.
Columbus' Curtis McElhinney stopped 27 shots and overcame a nasty collision late in the game.
The Coyotes have lost seven of their last eight games. Arizona has allowed at least five goals in six of those losses and the seven surrendered to Columbus were the most this season.
''Should have gotten more pucks to the net,'' Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. ''It's just disgusting.''
The teams combined for six goals in the second period, including five in just over 4 minutes. After that, two simultaneous fights broke out involving two players from each team, resulting in an Arizona power play.
With under 5 minutes left in the third, Max Domi rushed into McElhinney. The goalie's helmet came off in the collision and his head bounced off the ice.
''Sometimes you have to go out there and play those pucks coming in like that,'' McElhinney said. ''When they were scoring like that I just wanted to see the game through.''
Rieder made it 6-5 about 3 minutes into the third, but Dubinsky scored with Domingue out for an extra attacker with 50 seconds left.
Foligno gave Columbus the lead 5-4 with 2:49 left in the second period, skating in on net alone and scoring. Clarkson's early third-period goal gave the Blue Jackets a 6-4 lead.
Tikhonov's first goal of the season and first in the NHL since 2009 tied the score at 2 in the second period. Rieder gave Arizona a 3-2 lead 10 seconds later.
Wennberg and Atkinson then scored for the Blue Jackets before Martinook finished a wrap-around goal guided in by his stick with the left hand to tie it with 7:39 left in the second. By that time, Lindback had been replaced by Domingue. Lindback played a little over 30 minutes.
''It's one bad game. Just throw it away and be better the next one,'' Lindback said. ''I want to stop those pucks, too. I don't know. It is what it is.''
NOTES: D Jack Johnson, C Ryan Johansen and D David Savard were scratched for Columbus. Johansen was a healthy scratch despite getting 22 points in 31 games this season. ... LW Anthony Duclair's 10 goals are tied for the second-most on the Coyotes, but he was scratched due to illness. It was his first missed game of the season. ... D Zbynek Michalek (lower-body injury) was also scratched for the second straight game. ... Coyotes captain Shane Doan tied Al MacInnis for 30th place on the NHL's career games played list with 1,416.