Blue Jackets edge Devils in shootout 2-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2013 at 10:18 pm •  Published: December 27, 2013

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Columbus Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said forward Cam Atkinson is one of his team's most talented players.

Atkinson backed up his coach's faith on Friday night.

Atkinson scored in the shootout to lead the Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Curtis McElhinney made 16 saves for Columbus, which has won three in a row. Artem Anisimov scored the Blue Jackets' goal in regulation.

"Big two points," Richards said. "I liked the way that we played. I thought we managed, I thought we played hard from the start to the finish.

"They're a good team and they're going to get their opportunities; they had their opportunities and Curtis made some saves for us. As far as a 60-plus minute effort we probably got efforts from everyone tonight."

New Jersey has lost two in a row. Martin Brodeur stopped 29 of 30 shots, and Adam Henrique scored for the Devils in the third period.

"I think our goalie gave us a chance tonight to hang around and get our legs," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "I feel fortunate we got a point. Our goaltender gave us a chance to get a point tonight and we have to do better tomorrow night."

Atkinson scored the only goal in the shootout.

"I was kind of watching to see what the guys were doing," Atkinson said. "It seemed like they were shooting and I'm a deker. I saw the opening in the five-hole. "

Anisimov gave Columbus a 1-0 lead 7:34 into the game when he roofed a Brandon Dubinsky rebound over Brodeur.

"I found a rebound," Anisimov said. "I saw him lay down, spread the legs, and I tried to put it up."

The goal was the 11th of the season for Anisimov, and for Dubinsky, his assist was seventh point in three games against the Devils this season.

The Blue Jackets had opportunities to take control in the second, but could not solve Brodeur. He made 10 saves in the period, highlighted by stopping Atkinson on a breakaway at 1:24.

The Columbus right wing blocked Eric Gelinas' point shot, and then beat the New Jersey defenseman to the loose puck in the neutral zone to begin the play.

Even though Brodeur was very good in the second, Columbus had three opportunities on the power play in the period and allowed just four shots. The Blue Jackets finished the game 0 for 5 on the man advantage in 8:26 of power play time.

"Our decisions on the power play weren't always great coming up the ice," Richards said. "Some of that had to do with what the Devils were doing. They force you. ... they trap you in areas. Our execution wasn't great. Some of that was based on what they were doing and their pressure."

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