Hitchcock, 408-249-100 in stints with the Dallas Stars and Philadelphia Flyers, was hired Wednesday to replace the fired Gerard Gallant.
The biggest cheer of the pre-game lineup announcements came when Hitchcock was introduced. Hitchcock’s first game behind the Columbus bench was a 3-2 loss on Friday at Philadelphia, which had fired him after the Flyers got off to a 1-6-1-0 start.
Anson Carter added a goal and two assists and Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist to lead the Blue Jackets to match their season high in goals. They came in with the lowest goal total (45) by far in the NHL. Fredrik Modin also scored for Columbus.
Goaltender Fredrik Norrena had 19 saves to pick up his first NHL win.
Notes: In Norrena’s last three starts, the Blue Jackets only scored one goal – and it came with 15 seconds left in a loss. … The first two Columbus goals came against Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom, who was replaced by Manny Fernandez at the start of the second period. … The Wild were completing a stretch of four games in six days.