Blue Jackets notebook: Flu idles Marian Gaborik

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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MONTREAL — After playing through the flu on Tuesday night at Detroit, Blue Jackets right wing Marian Gaborik was a late scratch from last night’s 5-3 loss to the Canadiens.

Gaborik took part in the morning skate but remained at the team hotel later in the day. Rookie left wing Boone Jenner was elevated to the No. 1 line in Gaborik’s absence, with Cam Atkinson moving from left to right wing.

Sean Collins, called up from minor-league Springfield earlier in the week, took Jenner’s spot on the third line with center Mark Letestu and right wing Blake Comeau. Gaborik is the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer, with two goals and four assists in the first five games.

Get greasy

The Blue Jackets have been reminded early this season that nothing on offense comes easily. Entering last night’s game, they had seven even-strength goals in five games, including four against the Buffalo Sabres. They had gone seven periods without a 5-on-5 goal.

“We need more guys in front, screening the goalie, looking for rebounds,” R.J. Umberger said. “… It’s the greasy type of goals we need. And we need the secondary lines to start chipping in, too.”

Coach Todd Richards shuffled his lines, even before Gaborik’s absence was known. Forward Artem Anisimov, who had only one goal and no assists in the first five games, was moved from center to wing.

Others have struggled mightily, too. Before last night, Umberger, Jenner, Ryan Johansen, Blake Comeau, Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll were looking for their first goals. Jenner scored twice and Johansen also scored in the loss to Montreal.

“We have to start making it more difficult on goalies, create those scrums where so many goals are scored now in today’s game,” Richards said.

The Blue Jackets were 25th in the NHL last season, averaging 2.4 goals a game. They entered play last night averaging 2.2 a game, tied for 23rd.

aportzline@dispatch.com

@Aportzline

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