Bjorkstrand injury is latest blow for hard-luck Blue Jackets

MITCH STACY (AP Sports Writer)
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Bjorkstrand injury is latest blow for hard-luck Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets' Oliver Bjorkstrand, left, of Denmark, tries to clear the puck as New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin, of Russia, defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. The Rangers won 3-1. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Injuries to key players keep coming for the Columbus Blue Jackets, who now have lost top goal-scorer Oliver Bjorkstrand for the rest of the season.

The 24-year-old forward fractured an ankle in Thursday night's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. Bjorkstrand slid hard into the back boards at the end of regulation and limped off the ice. He did not play in overtime.

General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said Friday that Bjorkstrand will be out eight to 10 weeks and might need surgery.

Bjorkstrand has 21 goals and 15 assists with 12 penalty minutes in 49 games this season. He leads the club in goals, winning goals (five) and multipoint games (11).

Columbus leads the NHL in man-games lost to injury this season. Also sidelined this season: All-Star defenseman Seth Jones, forwards Cam Atkinson and Josh Anderson and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

With lines patched together with rookies, the Blue Jackets still have managed to contend in the rugged Metropolitan Division. They hold the the first Eastern Division wild-card spot, even after dropping a home-and-home series this week to the Flyers.

They play next at Nashville on Saturday.

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