Wennberg scores in OT; Blue Jackets beat Minnesota 5-4


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Alexander Wennberg was in the perfect spot to get another two points for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Wennberg scored 47 seconds into overtime and Columbus rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Saturday night.

In the extra time, Artemi Panarin cut to the slot and his shot was stopped by goalie Devan Dubnyk. However, the rebound went off the chest of Wennberg, off his stick and into the Minnesota net. The goal was upheld by video review.

“I didn’t have any intention to put it in my hand or anything like that. I just went to the net and got rewarded,” Wennberg said.

Zach Werenski, David Savard, Cam Atkinson and Josh Anderson also scored for the Blue Jackets, winners of three straight.

Each win came late.

Columbus scored twice in the third period to beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Friday. The Blue Jackets gave up a late third-period equalizer Tuesday in Carolina before winning 2-1 in overtime.

“I hope it won’t stay a habit,” Savard said. “We got to figure out a way to have better starts.”

Down by two early in the third, Atkinson scored on a rebound and the Blue Jackets kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Anderson redirected a slap shot from Savard past Dubnyk with 3:37 left in regulation. Columbus held a 13-5 shot advantage in the period.

“We have to think defend, especially when you have a lead,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It’s been addressed yesterday; it’s been addressed today about leads in the third period. It’s been addressed every day this week as a matter of fact.”

Tyler Ennis scored two power-play goals for Minnesota, which got 30 saves from Dubnyk. Eric Staal and Landon Ferraro also scored.

Ennis gave the Wild a 4-2 lead 1:42 into the third when a shot from Mikko Koivu deflected off his skate. It is the seventh career multigoal game for Ennis and first since Jan. 18, 2015.

Ferraro’s individual effort gave Minnesota a 3-1 lead five minutes into the second. He followed his shot that trickled behind Sergei Bobrovsky, was knocked down, but still reached in to swat the puck the final few inches. It was Ferraro’s first NHL game since April 9, 2016.

He, Zack Mitchell and Christoph Bertschy were recalled Friday from AHL Iowa to replace three forwards Minnesota lost to injury in Thursday’s 5-2 win at Chicago. Mitchell assisted on Ferraro’s goal for his first NHL point.

Charlie Coyle (right fibula fracture) is expected to miss six to eight weeks, Nino Niederreiter (high left ankle sprain) is out at least three weeks and Marcus Foligno (left facial fracture) is expected to be out a week.

The Wild are also without forwards Mikael Granlund (groin) and Zach Parise (undisclosed injury). Granlund skated with the team Saturday morning; Parise is expected back for next weekend’s back-to-back games in Winnipeg and Calgary.

Scoring in his third straight game, Staal completed a textbook give-and-go with Chris Stewart for a 1-0 Wild lead at 15:50 of the first, but a defensive breakdown left Werenski alone in the left circle for an easy game-tying goal 35 seconds later.

Ennis scored early in the second and Savard ripped a slapshot past Dubnyk to get the Blue Jackets within 3-2.

NOTES: Minnesota is 14-0-3 all-time in its first game of the season at Xcel Energy Center. … Wild C Luke Kunin made his NHL debut. The team’s 2016 first-round pick signed last spring after his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin. The 19-year-old skated on a line with Matt Cullen, 40, who made his NHL debut 37 days before Kunin was born. … Columbus D Gabriel Carlsson, who sustained an upper-body injury Friday, did not play. D Scott Harrington made his season debut.


Columbus: At Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Minnesota: At Winnipeg on Friday.

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