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Zherdev Scores Two Goals, Adds Assist, Blue Jackets Fall 5-3

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Anson Carter had a goal and two assists, lifting the Vancouver Canucks to a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.

Carter, who came within inches of matching his scoring totals from the first 13 games when he hit the post, netted the eventual winning goal 2:23 into the third. He one-timed Daniel Sedin's pass into the high slot past Marc Denis.

Henrik Sedin scored on a three-way passing play started by Carter to put Vancouver ahead 3-2 with 1:33 left in the second period. He also had an assist.

Defensemen Sami Salo and Mattias Ohlund both had power-play goals, and Markus Naslund scored into an empty net, as the Canucks remained perfect in seven home games this season.

One night after being a healthy scratch, Nikolai Zherdev had two goals and an assist for Columbus. David Vyborny also scored and Denis made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets, who were swept on their four-game road trip and have lost eight of nine away from home.

Despite playing for the second straight night after losing in Calgary on Thursday, Columbus was the better team through 20 minutes, outshooting the Canucks 9-8.

The Blue Jackets became the first visiting team to score first in Vancouver this season when Zherdev's one-timed slap shot from just inside the blue line eluded Alex Auld on the blocker side at 7:36.

Columbus, playing without star Rick Nash after he sprained his knee Thursday, was undone by a string of penalties and Vancouver's power play in the second.

First it was Ohlund's point shot tipped past a screened Marc Denis by the stick of teammate Jan Hrdina at 5:29. Salo's blast from the top of the right circle and through Todd Bertuzzi's screen beat Denis six minutes later.

Vyborny tied it on the power play when he tried to go around Vancouver's Trevor Linden, who kicked the puck into his own net.

But Sedin restored the Canucks' lead less than a minute later.

Auld, starting his second straight game since Dan Cloutier suffered a concussion, finished with 21 saves to improve to 5-0-1. But he needed help.

Hrdina came close to scoring in each of the first two periods with shots that were trickling toward the goal line after Auld got a piece of them. Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski swiped the puck away before it went in both times.

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