COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Joonas Korpisalo stopped 37 shots, Artemi Panarin and Pierre Luc-Dubois each had a goal and two assists, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Zach Werenski and Ian Cole also scored for the Blue Jackets, winners of two straight and four of their last six. The victory over the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights helped Columbus hold onto the second wild card in the Eastern Division with 15 games remaining.
Marc-Andre Fleury — a Blue Jacket-killer in the playoffs last year for Pittsburgh — had 17 saves for the Golden Knights, who have lost four of five.
Korpisalo was solid standing in for ill starter Sergei Bobrovsky as Vegas outshot Columbus 38-21 in a tight-checking game that reflected the urgency for the Blue Jackets, who are in a tight race with Florida and Carolina for the final wild card.
Panarin slammed in a rebound for his team-leading 21st goal of the season just 16 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Vegas, in its first visit to Columbus, knotted the score 90 seconds into the second period when Erik Haula snapped in a shot from the slot for his 24th goal. Haula is one of five Vegas forwards to have 20 or more goals this season.
Werenski put the Blue Jackets up 2-1 at 8:01 of the second when he powered a one-timer through Fleury’s pads from beyond the left circle after a pass from Panarin. The tally by the 20-year-old Werenski was his 13th of the season, a franchise record for defensemen.
Cole made it 3-1 at 9:47 of the second with his first goal as a Blue Jacket after being acquired at the trade deadline. Dubois capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 2:21 left.
NOTES: A goal by Dubois at 6:14 in the first period was waved off after a replay determined Cam Atkinson was offside when he carried the puck into the zone. … G Jeff Zatkoff dressed after an emergency recall from Cleveland of the American Hockey League to back up Korpisalo. … Vegas F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returned after missing seven games with a hand injury. … Atkinson has 15 points in his last 19 games after missing 11 games with a fractured foot suffered in late December.
Vegas: Plays at Detroit on Thursday night.
Columbus: Hosts Colorado on Thursday night.
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