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Two short-handed goals by Gustav Nyquist lift Blue Jackets over Blackhawks

Dec 31, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets right wing Carson Meyer (72) pulls the puck into the zone against the Chicago Blackhawks during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Gustav Nyquist scored two short-handed goals and Johnny Gaudreau collected two assists to lead the host Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and snap a seven-game losing skid.

Emil Bemstrom and Kirill Marchenko also scored for the Blue Jackets in the comeback victory over the NHL’s last-place team. Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves, half of them in the third period.

Andreas Athanasiou replied with a goal for the struggling Blackhawks, who have lost 11 of 12 games — all in regulation time — and have a 2-18-1 record in their last 21 outings. Goalie Alex Stalock stopped 34 shots.

With his team trailing 1-0, Bemstrom’s power-play goal put the hosts on the board with 80 seconds remaining in the first period. Gaudreau sent a perfect cross-ice feed to him at the left faceoff dot and Bemstrom buried the one-timer for his fourth goal of the season and second in as many outings.

Nyquist scored the game-winning goal with a short-handed tally at 3:50 of the second period. Jack Roslovic led the rush and slipped a nifty pass to Nyquist as he reached the slot, which Nyquist converted for his first goal in 10 games.

Marchenko made it a 3-1 game with his third goal in four games and fifth of the season. Sprung down the wing thanks to a quick pass from Gaudreau, Marchenko threaded the needle from the right faceoff dot with three seconds remaining in the period.

Nyquist notched his second short-handed goal into an empty net in the final minute, his eighth tally of the season.

The Blue Jackets, who were without sniper Patrik Laine for a second consecutive game due to COVID-19, scored four goals in a game for the first time since their last victory, a 6-5 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 11.

Athanasiou gave the struggling Blackhawks a rare lead when his eighth goal of the season opened the scoring at 11:33 of the first period. Isaak Phillips collected an assist for his first NHL point.

–Field Level Media