Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pierre-Luc Dubois Has First NHL Hat Trick as Blue Jackets Down Flames 5-1

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pierre-Luc Dubois Has First NHL Hat Trick as Blue Jackets Down Flames 5-1

Article excerpt

Dubois has hat trick as Blue Jackets down Flames

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CALGARY - The Columbus Blue Jackets stayed hot thanks to a big night from rookie centre Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Dubois earned his first career hat trick to lead the visitors to a 5-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday, the Blue Jackets' 12th win in their last 13 games.

"We have a lot of experience in this room and I'm lucky enough to play with guys like (Artemi Panarin) and Cam (Atkinson), who are two amazing players," said Dubois. "I want to keep winning and keep improving. It's a great environment to learn in."

Columbus's sixth straight road victory moved them past the Philadelphia Flyers and into third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets are one point back of the second place Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We can't control what the other teams do but if we keep winning, I think we'll put ourselves in a pretty good spot," Dubois added.

Making it 2-0 at 12:23 of the first period, Dubois's first of the night came on a one-timer past rookie Jon Gillies after being set up neatly by Panarin.

Dubois's second, making it 3-0 at 3:55 of the second, came after a sensational end-to-end rush by Atkinson.

He capped off his memorable night with a power-play goal at 15:23 of the third.

"One of our keys to being able to compete this year is his play in the middle of the ice," said Columbus coach John Tortorella, who won his 128th game, moving him past Todd Richards into first on the club's all-time list. "Put him with different people, play him against top people in the league, all the teams, and he has just thrived."

Eighteen goals on the season sets a team record for goals by a rookie, surpassing Rick Nash's 17 in 2002-03. The 2016 fourth overall pick has 44 points on the season, three back of Zach Werenski's record for points by a rookie, set last season.

"It's a rookie that we were worried about giving him too much. He accepted everything and he wants more," said Tortorella of the 19-year-old, who stands 6-foot-3. …

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