SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — There are easier ways to start a West Coast road trip than against the perennial Pacific Division power San Jose Sharks in their notoriously loud arena.
That assignment was just fine with Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno.
“A team that comes out so hard at you, so you have to be in that mindset,” he said.
The Blue Jackets’ mindset was right on point Thursday night.
Foligno scored twice, Anthony Duclair had a goal and an assist and Columbus skated to a 4-1 victory over San Jose.
“No matter what people say on the outside, we know better,” Foligno said. “Our identity is a hard-working, tenacious team, and then our skill takes over from there.”
Sergei Bobrovsky made 44 saves as the Blue Jackets won for the third time in four games. Seth Jones also scored.
“I felt like a part of the team and I did my thing,” Bobrovsky said. “I didn’t try to create too much and I didn’t need that. So I just focused on my things, played my game and just enjoyed, had fun.”
It was San Jose’s first regulation loss since Oct. 14 at New Jersey. The Sharks were 4-0-2 in their last six games since dropping three of four during a road trip.
“We weren’t good enough to win the game,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “We were doing enough to hope to win. We have to do better.”
The Sharks jumped in front on a power-play goal 11:50 into the first period. Logan Couture and Marc-Edouard Vlasic assisted on Kevin Labanc’s second goal of the season.
But that was it for San Jose against Bobrovsky, and Columbus tied it on Duclair’s fifth goal at 16:30 of the first. Ryan Murray and Alexander Wennberg had assists on the play.
The Blue Jackets went ahead to stay when Jones scored on a give-and-go with Duclair 9:15 into the second. Lukas Sedlak also had an assist on Jones’ second goal of the season.
Foligno added a breakaway goal with 1:20 left in the period. Foligno slipped a backhand inside the left post past Aaron Dell.
Foligno also had an empty-netter with 1:01 remaining.
“We probably played our best game away from the puck,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said.
“We’ve done a lot of talking in meetings the last couple of days about, we’re not going to be a safe team, we don’t want to be a safe team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play above the puck when we don’t have it. A lot of our offense comes from being above the puck and in transition we stop teams before they get to our blue line, because we have back pressure.”
Dell made 23 saves.
“It’s simple. We didn’t play well,” Couture said. “We didn’t pass well, we didn’t spend enough time in their end, we didn’t forecheck, we turned the puck over. Columbus played harder than us. They boxed out around the net. We didn’t do a good job of creating traffic around the net and when we did, that’s when we created chances. It was just few and far between.”
NOTES: Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky (oblique strain) participated in Thursday’s skate but hasn’t received medical clearance to play. The 32-year-old missed his 10th straight game but hopes to play on the team’s three-game West Coast trip. … Columbus failed to capitalize on its only power play. The Blue Jackets are 6 of 45 in that department (13.3 percent) on the season. … Sharks RW Timo Meier was back on the first line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Meier started the season on the top line. … Couture extended his point streak to eight games.
Blue Jackets: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Sharks: Host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
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