The Columbus Blue Jackets assured that the San Jose Starks would remain stuck in a rut, scoring four goals in the first period and never looking back in a 6-3 win at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday night.
Jeff Carter hit the net twice in the first period on his way to a hat trick, and Steve Mason made 38 saves as Columbus handed San Jose its fourth consecutive loss.
The Blue Jackets had dropped three out of four, but wasted no time peppering Antti Niemi with goals and building a 4-0 lead by the first intermission. In addition to Carter's two first-period tallies, Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger also hit the back of the nets before the first break.
San Jose struck twice within 24 seconds early in the second period, but David Savard responded with a power play goal and the route was back on.