COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ryan Johansen returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets just before the start of the season.
Cam Atkinson and Nick Foligno couldn't be happier.
Atkinson scored twice and Johansen's other linemate, Foligno, added a goal and an assist to power the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
"I think we complement each other really well," Atkinson said of the Johansen-centered line. "Obviously, Joey in the middle with that big frame and those skills is a big part of it. Nick and I just try to find space out there."
Marko Dano added his first NHL goal and also had an assist for the Blue Jackets, who are 2-0 for the first time in five years. The game was played before a loud, sellout crowd of 18,922.
"That was awesome, starting with the red-carpet entrance and (there being) so many people out there," said the 19-year-old Slovakian, the 27th overall pick in the 2013 draft. "That was a special moment for me, my dad watching the game from the stands. I'm really happy he could see the moment when I scored my first goal."
Artem Anisimov, like Atkinson, scored for the second game in a row. Fedor Tyutin, a former Ranger, had a +5 plus/minus rating to set a franchise record.
Johansen, who ended his lengthy contract holdout and didn't practice until the day before the season began on Thursday, had two assists to give him three total. Scott Hartnell also had two helpers.
Former Columbus captain Rick Nash picked up his third goal and Lee Stempniak also scored for the Rangers, who opened the season by splitting two road games.
Anthony Duclair had two assists, also his first career NHL points, for the Rangers.
With Columbus up 3-1 through two periods, Dano jammed in a rebound of Dalton Prout's shot from the point with just over 6 minutes remaining.
Almost immediately, Nash scored his third goal in two games while the crowd booed loudly.
Atkinson then closed the scoring with an empty-netter.
"At the start of the game, the energy was great," Columbus coach Todd Richards said of the raucous turnout. "We did things in the game that will allow us to have success."
The capacity crowd had a lot to cheer. Anisimov arrived late to the play but stepped into a one-timer from just outside the left dot to beat backup goalie Cam Talbot 6:24 in. Hartnell's blind pass from the left corner set up the shot and Dano collected his first NHL point. He pointed and smiled to his father during the goal celebration.
Foligno's second effort made it 2-0.
He wheeled from the right circle into the slot and put a shot on goal that Talbot blocked. But the rebound bounced back to Foligno, who was on all fours as he shoved it into the net.
"There were a lot of 50-50 pucks that they got to," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Was that because they were quicker than we were? Or that they wanted it more?"
Stempniak cut the lead in half at 5:43 of the second with a hard wrister from the right circle.
But the Blue Jackets boosted the lead back to two goals through the second when Johansen, who signed a three-year, $12-million deal on Monday, whipped a shot on net off a loose puck. Foligno got a stick on it to send it to Atkinson at the doorstep, who tapped it in midway through the period.
"We were chasing," said New York defenseman Mark Staal. "We couldn't get the puck back and when we did we just gave it back to them.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves for the Blue Jackets while Talbot made 19 stops in relief of Henrik Lundqvist for the Rangers.
Notes: Nash had tussled with fan favorite Bobrovsky and Matt Calvert in New York's 3-1 win the last time the teams met in Nationwide Arena last March. ... During the customary pregame introductions at a home opener, for an instant the Blue Jackets' bench was almost as full as the ice with the injured (D Ryan Murray, C Boone Jenner, RW Nathan Horton, C Brian Gibbons and C Brandon Dubinsky) joined by healthy scratches (RW Corey Tropp, D Cody Goloubef and RW Adam Cracknell).
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