Voracek shootout goal lifts Blue Jackets over Devils, 4-3

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The Columbus Blue Jackets picked up their first road victory of the season on Sunday night, while the Devils missed out on a later power-play opportunity to pick up two points instead of one.

Columbus’ Jakub Voracek scored the lone goal in a shootout and Joonas Korpisalo had 39 saves for his first win of the season as the Blue Jackets edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3.

Oliver Bjorkstrand, Patrik Laine and Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus.

“It was good that (our leaders) got us rolling and I thought they contributed,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen. “We really needed that, we needed our leaders step up and they did that for us.”

Andreas Johnsson, Dawson Mercer and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Devils, and Scott Wedgewood had 23 saves.

The Devils got out to a fast start, scoring 1:07 into the game. Jesper Bratt came around the back of the net and found Johnsson at the circle, whose wrister found the back of the net.

The Blue Jackets tied it on the first power play of the game when Bjorkstrand scored with eight minutes left in the first period after rookie Dawson Mercer was called for tripping against Zach Wereneski at 11:04.

Laine ripped a shot past Wedgwood on the rush with about five minutes left in the period after a great pass from Jakub Voracek for his second assist to give the Blue Jackets the 2-1 lead, which they held until midway through the second period.

New Jersey evened things up with Columbus right after killing the power play when Mercer scored at 11:23 of the second period to make 2-2. A quick goal by Hamilton gave the Devils the 3-2 about a minute later.

“Just switched sides behind the net and just kind of sneak down and get a shot on,” Hamilton said. “Nico (Hischier) made a good pass and just tried to shoot it as hard as I could.”

Jenner would even things up late in the game with an unassisted goal for the Blue Jackets with about five and a half minutes remaining.

“I was just coming off the bench,” the team captain recalled. “Kind of saw that play developing and saw the puck in the air and I tried to bat it down, thought it kind of went a little bit ahead of me there and then I tried just to get it on net as quick as I could maybe try to trick the goalie — and happy it went by him.”

The Blue Jackets were able to hold on late in the third period after a pair of penalties put them on a five-on-three. First, Vladislav Gavikov was called for cross-checking with about four minutes left before Scott Harrington was sent to the box for high sticking.

The Devils were 0-3 on the power play.

Wedgewood was in net for New Jersey after Jonathan Bernier picked up the win the previous night at Pittsburgh.

“We did some things well, but you want to be a top team in this league, you have to find ways to win back-to-back when you’re up 3-2 lead into the third,” P.K. Subban said. “And we’re still learning those things.”

It was the first game this season that went to shootouts for both teams.

UP NEXT

Blue Jackets: Finish three-game trip at Colorado on Wednesday night.

Devils: Start three-game West Coast trip at Anaheim on Tuesday night.

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