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McElhinney, Blue Jackets blank Wild
Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Curtis McElhinney posted 20 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Columbus Blue Jackets dominated the Minnesota Wild, 4-0.
McElhinney is the No. 1 goaltender in Columbus for the next several weeks, as reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky is out with a groin strain he suffered in Tuesday's 1-0 victory over Tampa Bay.
The two goaltenders combined for 26 stops in the win, and McElhinney's shutout on Friday gave the team its first back-to-back shutouts since Nov. 2010.
"It felt great out there tonight," said McElhinney. "The guys did a real good job keeping them away from the front and did some hard work when we were killing penalties."
R.J. Umberger and Nick Foligno posted a goal and an assist, while Cam Atkinson and Boone Jenner also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have won three of four.
"It's been a good couple of games we've had here," said Umberger. "We've been putting a lot of hard work in practice, working on the power play and defense a lot and it's starting to pay off."
Niklas Backstrom gave up all four goals on 41 shots for the Wild, who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
"They had a lot of jump on us and we played into their game, turned the puck over way too much," said Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo. "We just didn't have any jump."
The first period passed without a goal, with Backstrom making nine saves and McElhinney seven, but Columbus got on the board 1:17 into the second period.
On a rush, Brandon Dubinsky sent a pass from the left side to the right wing where Atkinson fired a quick shot and the rolling puck floated into the right corner.
Just over four minute later while on the power play, the Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead as Umberger sent a shot on net from the left side that was stopped, with Foligno eventually jamming home the rebound for his eighth of the year.
The Blue Jackets made it a 3-0 game at 4:38 of the third on a rush play as Blake Comeau sent a pass from the right wing to the left with Jenner wristing it past Backstrom for his third of the year.
On a 2-on-0 break, Umberger sent a lead pass for Foligno, who then sent a no- look pass behind his back to Umberger, who shot it home for a 4-0 lead.
Minnesota hosts San Jose on Sunday ... Columbus plays in Pittsburgh on Monday ... Minnesota took two of three from Columbus last season ... McElhinney has three shutouts in his career ... Columbus went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Minnesota was 0-for-4.
12/07 01:04:01 ET
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