COLUMBUS, OH (AP) — Pierre-Luc Dubois scored in his NHL debut and Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.
Rookie Sonny Milano scored 1:07 into the game, and the 19-year-old Dubois made it 5-0 midway through the second period. Cam Atkinson, Ryan Murray and Zach Werenski also scored, newcomer Artemi Panarin had three assists, and Alexander Wennberg added two assists.
Islanders starter Thomas Greiss made 21 saves before being pulled after giving up Dubois’ goal. Jaroslav Halak stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief.
With all of the offensive opportunities created by the Blue Jackets, it could have been worse.
Columbus scored on its first shot of the season when Oliver Bjorkstrand shoveled the puck out from the back wall to Milano for a 10-footer that he snapped past Greiss.
Midway through the first period, Panarin circled in and teed up a pass that grazed Greiss’ stick and was redirected into the net off Atkinson’s skate. The whole sequence midway came about after Atkinson picked off a pass in the neutral zone and fed Panarin, who flashed some of the speed and offensive skill that led Columbus to acquire him from Chicago.
Murray scored from the left circle 6:57 into the second period after getting a pass from Panarin, who had carried the puck around the back of the net. Later on a power play, Werenski grabbed a sharp rebound and slammed it past Greiss from about 60 feet.
Dubois — the third overall pick in 2016 — got his first NHL goal, a wrister from the slot, 1:25 later.