COLUMBUS, Ohio — Coming into Friday’s game against the Blues, the Columbus Blue Jackets were sick and tired of losing.
They were also sick and tired, period, having played the New York Islanders Thursday while fighting a virus that swept through the team.
The Blue Jackets were 0-2-1 last three games and 8-15-5 overall, but they handled the Blues, 5-2.
Robert Thomas scored twice for the Blues, who have lost three of their last four games. Joel Hofer started in goal for the Blues and allowed four goals.
Yegor Chinakhov scored twice for for the Blue Jackets and Kirill Marchenko, Adam Fantilli and Alexandre Texier also scored.
Blue Jackets strike first
Not surprisingly, the Blues’ game plan was to get on the attack early against the Blue Jackets and stay on the attack.
“Being simple, going to work, put pressure on them, make them play defense, make them turn all night and face their net, that’s got to be out mindset,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.
“On the reverse, when we’re in Chicago tomorrow, we’ll know how hard it is,” Blues captain Brayden Schenn said, “Put pucks to the goal line and make it hard on them, don’t give them any free offense or run-and-gun hockey. That’s easier on guys' legs. When you make guys stop and start, play a heavy game, grind ‘em down, It’s tough to get going the other way on a back-to-back (game).”
With goaltender Elvis Merzlikins in the sick bay, Jet Greaves made his second NHL start Friday. The Blue Jackets played without winger Patrik Laine and defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who were also ill.
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