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Nash leads Blue Jackets to 5-2 win over Coyotes

Rick Nash had two goals and an assist and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 on Saturday night.

Nikita Nikitin and Derick Brassard scored in the third period after the Coyotes rallied from a two-goal deficit to make it 2-2. Colton Gillies got an empty-net goal to cap the scoring for the Blue Jackets, who have won two in a row on the road for the first time this season. They beat another playoff contender, Colorado, 2-0 on Thursday night.

Ray Whitney and Lauri Korpikoski scored for Phoenix. Shane Doan assisted on both goals.

Nash, whose wish to be traded went unfulfilled, has four goals in his last four games and six in his last seven.

After going 11-0-1 in February, the Coyotes have lost two in a row, both at home.

Nash's spectacular assist came when he made a diving steal of the puck from Radim Vrbata, at the same time knocking it to Brassaard, who had an open look at the net for the goal that put the Blue Jackets up 4-2 with 6:16 to go.

Steve Mason made 30 saves for the Blue Jackets. Mike Smith had 21 for the Coyotes.

Nash put Columbus up 1-0 with a short-handed goal with 3:39 left in the first period. He took a pass from Derek McKenzie and broke away from everyone, then flipped the puck past Smith. It was the second shorthanded goal Phoenix has allowed in as many games.

The goal came with 10 seconds left in the two-minute hooking penalty being served by Columbus' Derek Dorsett.

Nash's second goal, with 14:42 left in the second period, came when he barreled into the Coyotes' goal, slamming into Smith after being tripped by Phoenix's Chris Summers and knocking the net loose in the process. Replays showed the puck crossed the line before Nash did and after a review, the goal stood to make it 2-0.

Phoenix broke through after a fight between Summers and Columbus' Colton Gillies. Both got offsetting penalties for fighting, but Gillies also was called for roughing. With the man advantage, Whitney took a pass from Doan and knocked it in on the power play for his 20th goal of the season, cutting the lead to 2-1 with 11:41 left in the second.

Moments later, Mason deflected Doan's strong shot, but Korpikoski was there to knock the rebound in and it was tied 2-2 with 6:10 still to go in the period.

But what looked like another trademark comeback for Phoenix fizzled when Nikitin scored with 10:48 left in the third. Then the Coyotes' crucial turnover set up the fourth goal.

Notes: The teams play again Tuesday night in Columbus. ... Phoenix C Gilbert Brule returned after missing four games after taking injuring his head against the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21. ... The Blue Jackets have won two overall for only the third time this season.