COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Brandon Saad broke a scoreless tie in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 38 shots as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 on Thursday night.
Saad got his 19th goal of the year 4:32 into the final frame when he charged in to get his own rebound and poked it past Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk, who played an otherwise excellent game. Dubnyk had 39 saves for the Wild, who lost for the first time in three games.
Bobrovsky was every bit as outstanding for the Blue Jackets in the battle of the All-Star goalies, collecting his fourth shutout this season and the 16th of his career.
He made a sprawling save of a doorstep shot by Martin Hanzal with about two minutes left in the first, and came up with another big one in the second when Jason Zucker got a breakaway but couldn’t penetrate. Zucker got another direct shot at the net in the third period that he couldn’t get past the Russian goalie.
An apparent goal for Minnesota that trickled through Bobrovsky’s pads was disallowed in the second period when video showed that Erik Haula had kicked the puck during a scrum in front of the net and it went in off the skate of Columbus’ William Karlsson.
The Blue Jackets are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and moved ahead of Pittsburgh for sole possession of second place in the Metropolitan Division. Minnesota is holding on to first place in the Central Division.
The Wild and Blue Jackets meet for the first time since a New Year’s Eve showdown of unbeaten streaks. Minnesota had a 12-game streak ruined, while Columbus won its 15th straight.
NOTES: Bobrovsky has stopped 95 of 98 shots in the past three games. … Minnesota was without forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville for the third straight game because of the mumps. … F Ryan White and C Martin Hanzal were in the lineup for Minnesota after being traded from Arizona on Wednesday night. … D Kyle Quincey and F Lauri Korpikoski played for the Blue jackets after being acquired in trades Wednesday. … D Markus Nutivaara was a scratch for the Blue Jackets. … C William Karlsson returned after missing a game because of illness. … Wild D Ryan Suter was in the lineup after being shaken up in Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.
Minnesota: Hosts San Jose on Sunday.
Columbus: At Ottawa on Saturday.