Blue Jackets jump on Blackhawks early
Cam Atkinson scored twice in Columbus' four-goal first period and added an empty-net goal in the final minute for his second career hat trick to help the Blue Jackets win their fifth consecutive game, 5-2 over the Blackhawks on Friday night in Chicago.
Ryan Johansen and Kevin Connauton also connected for the Blue Jackets. They set a team record with their seventh consecutive road victory and have won eight of nine overall. Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago, which dropped its second straight. The Blackhawks' lead over the Wild for third place in the Central Division dropped to one point, though Chicago has a game in hand.
•OILERS BLANK STARS: Richard Bachman, making a rare start, made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Oilers' 4-0 victory over the visiting Stars. The loss ended Dallas' four-game winning streak.
•NOTES: The NHL fined Capitals forward Tom Wilson $2,000 for diving. Wilson received a minor penalty for embellishment during a game against Wild on March 19. … Coyotes radio analyst Nick Boynton was charged with becoming belligerent at a Buffalo casino and biting the hand of an officer trying to subdue the former NHL defensemen. The charges against Boynton, 36, include assault and resisting arrest.