Almost every game is a productive one for the Columbus Blue Jackets these days — whether they play well or not.
Brandon Dubinsky scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the surging Blue Jackets won their fifth straight game, 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night. Lukas Sedlak got his first NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who have earned at least a point in 12 of their last 13 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky had 32 saves for Columbus.
"I didn't think we were all that good, but Bob had another great game. You are going to need games like that and he's been giving them to us," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "There hasn't been enough to our game lately. We need more grit and more checking."
Cam Atkinson contributed a short-handed goal in the first period for Columbus, which is three points behind the first-place New York Rangers in the Metropolitan Division. Dylan Larkin's power-play goal in the second was the only scoring of the night for the Red Wings.
Sam Gagner scored into an empty net with 13.9 seconds remaining.
Detroit goalie Petr Mrazek was pulled in favor of Jimmy Howard after Sedlak's goal made it 3-1 in the second.
Mrazek was miffed after the goal that put the Blue Jackets up 2-1. He came well out of his crease to cover up a rebound, but there was no whistle, and he ended up playing the puck around the boards. A Columbus player was waiting and shot it back toward the net, and Dubinsky scored easily on a rebound.
"When that puck goes out that far, you can't cover the puck. There's a little bit of grey area in the rule, but because it's not in his sphere and it bounces further away, then at that point you're trying to play it and not covering an immediate rebound," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "They were telling him to play it, he played it, and it ended up in our net."
There were also a few players tangling in the corner during that play, away from the action.
"The goalie's got to move the puck there or he's going to get a penalty," Tortorella said. "I have no idea what was happening in the corner ... but we got a good shot, a good tip and a rebound."
Later in the second, Sedlak, playing his 23rd game of his first NHL season, backhanded in a rebound to chase Mrazek.
"That was a great feeling," he said. "I've had so many chances that I didn't finish that I didn't really believe it at first."
Atkinson opened the scoring in the first, beating Mrazek with a wrist shot 22 seconds into Detroit's power play. Anthony Mantha of the Red Wings hit the post later in the period when he broke in on Bobrovsky from the left.
Detroit tied it in the second when Larkin scored from the left circle on a rebound.
The Red Wings outshot Columbus 33-25, the first time in 10 games the Blue Jackets had been outshot.
"I thought from a process standpoint, we did tons of things really good," Blashill said. "It was unfortunate the way that the final result was, but if we play like that over a long period of time, we're going to get lots of results over and over again.
NOTES: Columbus added F Oliver Bjorkstrand to the roster on emergency recall from Cleveland of the AHL. ... Detroit removed F Andreas Athanasiou (knee) and D Alexey Marchenko (shoulder) from IR.
Blue Jackets: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday night. Columbus is 2-1-3 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.
Red Wings: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.
Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister