Nikita Nikitin and R.J. Umberger each scored two goals Friday to help the Columbus Blue Jackets blank the Florida Panthers, 4-1, in an inter-conference contest at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Oh. Jackets' goaltender Allen York made 31 saves to earn just his second win of the season and push Columbus' overall record to 26-45-7 (59 points).
Tomas Kopecky netted the Panthers' lone goal at the 7:57 make in the third period, however, Florida failed to make a late-game charge as Umberger scored an empty-net goal in final seconds. The loss didn't do too much to the Panthers in the Eastern Conference standings, which still features Florida in first place in the South East Division, just four points ahead of the idle Washington Capitals.
The victory was the Blue Jackets second straight, and was their first string of victories since early March, when they earned three straight. On Saturday, Columbus travels to St. Louis to take on the Blues.