WINNIPEG - Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel continues to scour his team's roster for solutions, but they seem to be nowhere.
The Columbus Blue Jackets provided Noel with more questions in a 6-3 win against the Jets on Saturday. Columbus won its third straight game while Winnipeg lost its fifth in a row. The Blue Jackets trailed 1-0 after one period but took command by scoring four times in the first 9:07 of the second, capped by Boone Jenner's penalty-shot goal.
Noel overhauled his lineup this week in hopes of arresting his team's slump. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who began the game tied with Bryan Little for the team lead with 34 points, moved to the top forward line. Rookie Eric O'Dell moved to the second line to replace injured left wing Evander Kane, and U.S. Olympian Blake Wheeler, the team leader with 16 goals, moved to the third line to spark slumping Devin Setoguchi.
Instead, the Jets fell apart after a good first period. They've allowed four or more goals in each game of the losing streak.
Mark Letestu picked up his third and fourth goals of the season while Cam Atkinson contributed his 13th and Nick Foligno added his 12th. Jenner also scored in the third period and has eight goals this season.
O'Dell, whom Noel moved to the second line with first-year center Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik, scored his first NHL goal. Tobias Enstrom scored his fifth and Little broke an 11-game goalless streak with his 15th.
Curtis McElhinney, who gave starter Sergei Bobrovsky the night off after a 36-save shutout against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, stopped 28 shots for Columbus. Winnipeg's Ondrej Pavelec made 20 saves.
O'Dell gave the Jets a 1-0 lead 4:32 into the game, stuffing a loose puck into the net after McElhinney failed to secure the carom of Keaton Ellerby's slap shot.
But the Blue Jackets tied the game 36 seconds into the second period. Winnipeg received the game's first three power plays, but Letestu finished a 2-on-1 rush nine seconds into the Blue Jackets' third shorthanded situation.
Columbus took its first lead of the game 3:39 later when Atkinson converted a give-and-go with passes from James Wisniewski and Ryan Murray. Atkinson went eight games without a goal but has scored in three straight games.
Foligno made it 3-1 when he stuffed Ryan Johansen's centering pass from behind the Winnipeg net through Pavelec's pads at 8:26. Jenner followed with his penalty-shot goal after Winnipeg defenseman Adam Pardy pulled him down on a breakaway.
Enstrom cut the margin to 4-2 with a heavy left-circle through traffic in front of McElhinney at 11:55. Jenner restored the Blue Jackets' three-goal lead 4:08 into the third period before Little made it 5-3 at 5:55. Letestu's second of the game finished the scoring.
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