COLUMBUS, OHIO – Relentless is the word Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky chose to describe the surging Blue Jackets’ style of play.
Dubinksy and Matt Calvert each had a goal and assist to lead Columbus to a team-record eighth-straight win — the longest active streak in the league — with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night in the franchise’s 1,000th game.
Jack Johnson, Derek MacKenzie and Nathan Horton also scored for Columbus, which played its inaugural season in 2000 and has only made the playoffs once, but is finally showing real signs of promise.
“There’s a confidence in the room now,” Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. “I think there is an understanding of how we need to play, what we need to do as a group to have success.”
The offense has come on of late, but the backbone has been Sergei Bobrovsky, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner that goes to the league’s top goalie. Bobrovsky finished with 26 saves in his first game against his former club to earn his seventh win in a row since returning from a groin injury.
The Blue Jackets closed out the Flyers with four straight goals to improve to a league-best 9-0-1 record in January.
Brayden Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier scored for Philadelphia, which is 2-4-2 since winning 10 of 13.
Ducks 2, Kings 1
In Anaheim, Patrick Maroon scored the tiebreaking goal on a wraparound late in the second period, and the Ducks beat Los Angeles in the prelude to the clubs’ landmark outdoor game this weekend.
Blues 2, Rangers 1
In New York, St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period.
Hurricanes 5, Sabres 3
In Buffalo, Alexander Semin had two goals and defenseman Andrej Sekera added a score at 9:50 of the third to lift Carolina over the Sabres.
Penguins 6, Islanders 4
In Uniondale, New York, rookie defenseman Olli Maatta scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period and Evgeni Malkin added an insurance score in the third as the Penguins held on for a wild win over the Islanders.
Wild 2, Blackhawks 1
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke scored first-period goals, Darcy Kuemper made 33 saves and the Wild beat Chicago.
Lightning 4, Senators 3 (SO)
In Tampa, Nikita Kucherov had the lone shootout goal and the Lightning beat Ottawa.
Stars 7, Maple Leafs 1
In Dallas, Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals to lead the Stars in a rout over Toronto.
Predators 2, Canucks 1
In Vancouver, Nick Spaling notched the go-ahead goal on the power play in the third period to lift Nashville.
Sharks 1, Jets 0
In San Jose, Joe Pavelski scored his 19th goal in the past 21 games and Alex Stalock made 20 saves in his second straight shutout to help the Sharks beat Winnipeg.