COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Blue Jackets are closing the season strong at home.
Scott Hartnell had a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots for his second shutout of the season to lead them to a 5-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Not so long ago near the bottom in the NHL in success at home, it was the Blue Jackets' fifth straight win at home. It also extended their points streak to 11 games overall (10-0-1).
"We got off to a good start and we just carried it on through the second and into the third," said Boone Jenner, who added a goal. "And Bob (Bobrovsky) did a good job holding down the fort."
Artem Anisimov, Ryan Murray and Jeremy Morin also scored and Brandon Dubinsky had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who got production from all four lines in a matchup of teams playing out the string in the regular season.
The Maple Leafs played as if they couldn't wait to clean out their lockers and head home.
"We got beat start to finish. That's the bottom line," said defenceman Dion Phaneuf. "It is embarrassing when you're beaten 5-0."
Toronto has lost its past eight on the road (0-7-1) and has the fewest road wins (eight) of any team in the league. From the outset, the Maple Leafs watched the action.
"They (the Blue Jackets) play hard every game. That's why they're a hard team to play against, especially in recent times when they've gotten healthier," Maple Leafs coach Peter Horachek said. "They got the opportunities and capitalized. We were standing still."
The Blue Jackets, who have had a devastating series of injuries most of the season, are 13-1-1 over their past 15 games, including a franchise-record nine-game win streak that ended with an overtime loss at the New York Rangers on Monday night.
They are still only 18-20-2 at home, a fact that coach Todd Richards said has cost them a decent shot at the playoffs.
"For me it definitely comes down to our home record," he said. "What we need to do is establish our game here at home and make this a tough building to play in."
It was Bobrovsky's second shutout of the season. He is 9-0-1 in his past 10 starts.
The Blue Jackets put the game away in the opening period with a three-goal burst in a span of 5:09.
Anisimov got it started, trailing the play and taking a pass from Dubinsky in the slot to notch his seventh goal of the season at 13:51.
At 15:56, Jenner skated into the right circle where Ryan Johansen found him with a pass from the back wall. That gave Johansen 70 points, giving the Blue Jackets two players (joining Nick Foligno who has 72) with at least that many for the first time in franchise history.
Hartnell scored his 27th goal with a minute left in the period, taking a cross-ice pass from Marko Dano and tucking his high shot just inside the far post.
Just 3:30 into the second period, after Eric Brewer went off for hooking Jenner on a breakaway, Murray flicked in a wrister through traffic from the left point.
"It felt awesome," he said. "A couple guys screened in front. It wasn't that hard of a shot."
It was his first goal of the season — and first in a year and two days, although only a span of 13 games — for Murray, who has missed most of this season with knee and ankle injuries. He was playing his first game after sitting out the past nine games.
That was it for James Reimer, who allowed four goals on 20 shots. He was replaced by Jonathan Bernier.
Before the second period ended, Morin added to the scoring on a relatively innocent flip from the blue line that eluded Bernier at 16:34.
Notes: The Maple Leafs close out the season at home against Montreal on Saturday. ... Columbus hosts Buffalo on Friday and plays at the New York Islanders on Saturday to finish up. ... The Blue Jackets had a 70-point scorer only two of their first 13 seasons — Rick Nash with 79 in 2008-09 and Ray Whitney with 76 in 2002-03. ... Bernier stopped 12 of 13 shots. ... Columbus exceeded 500 man-games lost to injury this season, extending a franchise record, also the highest total in the NHL this season.
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