Ryan Johansen was a healthy scratch Thursday, watching from the press box as the Blue Jackets absorbed their latest lopsided beating, a 6-3 loss to Chicago.
It didn't make much sense then, and it made less sense on Saturday.
Johansen, a 19-year-old rookie, scored both goals in a 2-1 Blue Jackets win over the Winnipeg Jets in Nationwide Arena, his fourth and fifth goals on the season.
"It's tough sitting out, especially when you feel like you can contribute," Johansen said. "For sure it's motivation. Every time you come to the rink, you want to show you belong on the ice."
Not only is Johansen tied for the club lead in goals -- veteran winger Vinny Prospal also has five -- but he has scored the game-winning goal in all three of the Blue Jackets' wins this season. Only Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier (four) had more entering play on Saturday.
He scored 53 seconds into the game on a nasty slap shot that beat Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec high to the stick side.
Early in the third period, he backhanded a centering feed from Prospal to make it 2-0.
Next up for the Blue Jackets is Minnesota at home on Tuesday.
--Saturday's 2-1 win over Winnipeg marked two achievements for the Blue Jackets. The 1-0 lead after the first period marked only the fifth time in 16 games that they'd scored the first goal. Further, it marked only the third time this season they'd escaped a first period without giving up a goal.
--The Blue Jackets have won five straight against the AtlantaWinnipeg franchise, including Saturday's 2-1 win. The Jackets are 9-5-0 in the head-to-head.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We cut down on the high-grade scoring chances. That's what we need to do. We gave up some, but we kept it to a minimum." -- Blue Jackets G Steve Mason, after his 35-save performance in a 2-1 win over Winnipeg on Saturday.
--C Ryan Johansen is tied for third in the NHL with three game-winning goals. Only Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier and Detroit's Johan Franzen (four each) have more game-winners.
--C Derick Brassard was a healthy scratch vs. Winnipeg on Saturday, a wakeup call to get his game together. Brassard has no goals, one assist and a minus-8 rating in the previous seven games, one of many Blue Jackets who are struggling to contribute offense.
--G Steve Mason stopped 35 of 36 shots in Saturday's 2-1 win over Winnipeg, easily his best game of the season. Mason didn't allow a goal until 3:54 remained, a short-handed goal at close-range by Brad Stuard.
--C Jeff Carter returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a fractured right foot. He played 21 minutes, 22 seconds and had a minus-1 rating, jumping right back into the action after being out since Oct. 15.
--LW Kristian Huselius (torn pectoral muscle) is out until late November, but possibly the new year.
--G Mark Dekanich (groin) came up lame during warm-ups of a minor-league game on Nov. 11 and is out indefinitely.
--G Curtis Sanford (groin) is day-to-day.
--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out indefinitely.