NHL: Blue Jackets get off to fast start in rout of Coyotes

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Oliver Bjorkstrand had two goals and two assists and the Columbus Blue Jackets routed the visiting Arizona Coyotes 8-2 in the season opener for both teams on Thursday night.

Columbus coach Brad Larsen was a winner in his debut while, across the ice, Arizona’s Andre Tourigny took the loss in a matchup of NHL rookie coaches.

Max Domi tallied a goal and two assists and Zach Werenski had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets (1-0), who set a franchise record for goals in a home opener. Alexandre Texier, Boone Jenner, Jake Bean and Gustav Nyquist also scored for Columbus, and Elvis Merzlikins made 36 saves.

Anton Stralman and Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes (0-1). Carter Hutton allowed eight goals on 26 shots in his Arizona debut.

Columbus was 2-for-3 on the power play while Arizona went 1-for-4.

The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead just 40 seconds into the opener. With Arizona unable to clear the zone, Domi controlled the puck, shoveled it toward the net and Texier tipped it past Hutton.

Bjorkstrand made it 2-0 from in front of the net on a power play at 14:05 when he redirected a pass from Werenski.

Columbus struck again 35 seconds into the second period when a steal by Domi ultimately resulted in Jenner corralling a loose puck in front of the net and knocking it.

The Coyotes pulled within 3-1 at 1:03 when Stralman’s blast from above the right circle eluded Merzlikins.

But the Blue Jackets pulled away with two goals in just over three minutes.

Bjorkstrand made it 4-1 at 11:10 of the second when he took a drop pass from Jack Roslovic and scored from the right circle, and Bean increased the lead to 5-1 with a one-timer from the same spot at 14:16.

Werenski’s power-play goal made it 6-1 at 4:33 of the third period and Domi’s goal from the slot pushed the lead to 7-1 at 8:48.

Keller pulled the Coyotes within 7-2 with a power-play goal at 16:46, but Nyquist answered at 18:36.

–Field Level Media

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