Blue Jackets 5, Maple Leafs 2

The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- What seemed a dire situation for the Columbus Blue Jackets quickly turned into a goal that swung the game in their favor.

Brandon Dubinsky's short-handed goal with 7:33 remaining -- a 3-on-4 goal, no less -- led the Blue Jackets to a 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs before 13,930 in Nationwid Arena on Friday.

Marian Gaborik, Ryan Johansen, Nick Foligno and rookie Ryan Murray also scored for the Blue Jackets, who have won three straight games after a four-game road losing streak. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves.

Toronto got goals from Phil Kessel and Dave Bolland, but took eight minor penalties and never held the lead.

Dubinsky's goal was only the third 3-on-4 goal scored in Blue Jackets' franchise history, the first since the 2005-06 season.

He gathered a shot fired wide in his own end, curled around and goal out of the zone with speed, pulling up for a shot in the right circle in front of Leafs defenseman Cody Franson.

Dubinsky's shot beat Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier high to his glove side for a 3-1 lead.

The Leafs pulled to 3-2 when Bolland scored off a rebound with 4:30 to play.

But Johansen's empty-net goal with 26.1 seconds remaining clinched it. The Blue Jackets, playing the Leafs in Nationwide for only the fifth time in franchist history, made it 5-2 on Foligno's tap-in during the closing seconds.

The Maple Leafs expected a big boost from the return of forward David Clarkson in the game.

Signed to a seven-year, $36.5 million contract as a free agent last summer, Clarkson was suspended for the first 10 games of the season after he left the bench in the preseason to join an altercation with the Buffalo Sabres.

Wearing the No. 71 once worn by revered Leaf Wendel Clark, Clarkson was whistled for hooking only 4:16 into the game, leading to Murray's goal.

Otherwise, he was credited with two shots on goal and one hit in nearly 17 minutes of playing time. About seven minutes into the third period, Clarkson was sent sprawling when he was undercut by Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin.

Murray gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead with a power play goal only 4:55 into the game.

James Wisniewski's shot from the left point was redirected by R.J. Umberger, preventing Bernier from corralling the puck cleanly. Murry was there to pounce on the rebound.

The Blue Jackets fairly dominated the first period, outshooting the Leafs 16-5 and drawing three Toronto penalties.

But the second period was a different story.

The Leafs pulled to 1-1 only 40 seconds into the second. It was scored in much the same manner as the Blue Jackets' first goal.

Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk took the initial shot and Tyler Bozak gathered the rebound. But, with Bobrovsky out of position after over-playing the rebound, Bozak fired to Kessel for the easy goal.

NOTES: Leafs RW Joffrey Lupul suffered a bruised foot when he was struck with a shot during practice Thursday. He traveled with the team to Columbus but did not dress Friday. He is day-to-day. ... The Leafs welcomed LW Frazer McLaren back to the lineup for his season debut. He suffered a broken finger Oct. 1. ... Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen pulled Murray aside earlier in the week and told him to seek permanent residence in Columbus, a sign that Murray will stick with the Blue Jackets this season. ... Blue Jackets RW Jared Boll missed the morning skate with a stomach virus, but was able to play limited minutes.
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