Dano led the Blue Jackets to a come-from-behind 6-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Thursday.
Dano scored his second goal of the game 5:31 into the third period and set up Scott Hartnell's goal three minutes later as part of a run of six unanswered goals by the Blue Jackets over the final 32:56.
Columbus (32-35-4) may be 13th in the Eastern Conference, but the injury-riddled Blue Jackets have won five of six games, and Dano has three goals and four assists in the past five.
"It's a big opportunity for me to earn a spot next year," Dano said. "My time in the [American Hockey League] helped a lot, but now I am trying to play here and trying to get a spot here for next year."
Rene Bourque scored his second goal since being traded to Columbus from the Anaheim Ducks on March 2 at 7:04, Dano tied it less than three minutes later, and Cam Atkinson put the Blue Jackets ahead to stay with a tip-in on the power play with 1:42 left.
Dano, a 20-year-old Slovakian, made it 4-2 early in the third period after a high shot over the right side of the net bounced off the end boards to him all alone near the left post. It was the first two-goal game in the NHL for Dano, who got his first three-point game with an assist on a give-and-go off the rush that Hartnell finished off.
"His linemates are helping but he is also doing things on this own," Columbus coach Todd Richards said of Dano. "He's physical in the corners, physical in the battles, he creates a little separation, and you see some different things. He can score goals. He makes a great pass to Hartnell on his goal. There's a lot of skill and ability in him."
Richards was just as impressed with the fight in the Blue Jackets after they fell behind while playing their second road game in as many nights; they defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday despite being outshot 47-20.
"It says a lot about our group. Down 2-0 the way the game was going, having played last night and got in late, it could have been one of those games," Richards said. "It does show a lot of character."
"Tropper's fight gave us a lot of emotion," said Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 38 saves.
Bourque's goal, on a shot just inside the blue line, helped too. And when Hartnell scored 8:32 into the third period to make it 5-2, Vancouver goalie Eddie Lack was pulled one minute later. Alexander Wennberg scored an empty-net goal with 4:22 left.
"We stopped playing, and I didn't come up with those big saves either," said Lack, who made 25 saves on 30 shots. "That's a tough one for us."
"I think for whatever reason, we sat back," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "That was a big game for us not to have our best game."
It started well for Vancouver. The Canucks outshot the Blue Jackets 8-1 in the first three-and-a-half minutes and 20-10 in the first period, but they couldn't beat Bobrovsky.
"Getting through the first period 0-0, our goaltender made some big saves, and we started to get our legs late in the first period," Richards said. "Then Tropp sticking up for a teammate sparked our team."
The Canucks finally scored three minutes into the second period after a Jack Johnson pass coming out of the Blue Jackets zone bounced off the stick of Columbus center Mark Letestu and right to Horvat in the high slot. The 19-year-old rookie quickly shot his 12th goal past Bobrovsky on the glove side.
Sedin doubled the lead on the next shift, knocking his rebound in from a sharp angle after Bobrovsky stopped his wraparound attempt.
Bobrovsky made another great save in tight a little more than three minutes later, and Columbus got back into the game when Lack misplayed a long shot by Bourque on the ensuing rush. Bourque crossed the blue line before a slap shot that hit defenseman Christopher Tanev's stick before going in off Lack's glove.
"It dove on me. I don't know what to say," said Lack, who was making his 13th straight appearance with No.1 goalie Ryan Miller injured and expected to miss the rest of the regular season. "I usually have those."
Lack, who made a couple great saves in the first period, was beaten again midway through the second when Dano was alone in the slot to his left and Artem Anisimov found him with a pass from behind the net to the goalie's right. Dano's one-timer went through Lack.
The Blue Jackets took the lead on double deflection with 1:42 left in the second period. Letestu's point shot on the power play was tipped by Atkinson in the high slot before hitting the skate of defenseman Alexander Edler and bouncing between Lack's legs.
Instead of coming back in the third period, Vancouver fell further behind.
"We come out and we say all the right things in here, but then we come out and we ... I thought we started cheating," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said. "We're down 3-2. We don't need to score right away. We can keep playing the right way and get pucks deep. They looked tired for the most part of the game, and still we gave away the game."