Chinakhov scores twice in third period as Blue Jackets beat Blues
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Yegor Chinakhov scored twice in the third period, Jet Greaves stopped 41 shots for his first NHL victory, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 Friday night to snap a three-game skid.
Kirill Marchenko had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fantilli scored for his 16th point, putting him second behind Connor Bedard’s 21 for the league lead among rookies this season. Alexandre Texier had an empty-netter, Dmitri Voronkov added two assists and Chinakhov also had one.
“It’s a really good game to build on for this group,” Greaves said. “Something we’ve talked about is making sure we close out games in the third, and I thought we did a great job with that.”
“We had chances, but when you make mistakes, they capitalized on them,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.
Columbus’ first goal was a team effort, as three players traded the puck in front of the net before Marchenko buried his ninth of year at 1:42 of the opening period. The goal was his 30th in 86 games, a franchise record for the fewest games to reach the milestone.
Thomas pulled the Blues even with 5:25 remaining in the period, grabbing an outlet pass along the boards and beating Graves on a breakaway to extend his point streak to three games.
Fantilli put Columbus back in front with a laser from the left circle with 3:01 left in the first that gave him a three-game point streak.
“We talked about confidence, but confidence in our compete and who we are as a team and in our DNA,” Blue Jackets coach Pascale Vincent said. “That’s what they brought tonight.”
Chinakhov gave Columbus breathing room with his goal at 6:26 of the third, and padded the lead with an unassisted power-play goal with 7:39 to go.
Thomas' second goal came with 2:19 left and an extra skater on before Texier added an empty-netter with 3.8 seconds left.
Blues: At Chicago on Saturday night.
Blue Jackets: Host Florida on Sunday.
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