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Blue Jackets beat Canucks 6-5 in shootout as Vancouver loses at home again

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VANCOUVER, B.C. - Jason Williams and Rick Nash scored shootout goals Sunday and the Columbus Blue Jackets continued their mid-season NHL surge by defeating Vancouver 6-5 as the Canucks set a club record for home-ice futility.

Williams beat Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo with a backhand while Nash fired a forehand drive past his goal stick.

Williams and Nash also scored in regulation. Kyle Wellwood and Mats Sundin couldn't beat Jackets netminder Steve Mason.

Columbus won for the eighth time in 11 games to improve to 22-19-4 and move to within striking distance of a Western Conference playoff berth.

It doesn't seem to matter that Luongo, Vancouver's all-star goalie, has returned after 24 games with a groin strain or free-agent acquisition Sundin is rounding into shape.

The Canucks still endured a seventh straight lacklustre home-ice loss to eclipse a club record set 38 years ago in their inaugural season and equalled in 1978.

Vancouver, once the Northwest Division leaders, dropped to 22-19-6 and clubs with games in hand are threatening to bump the Canucks from a playoff spot.

Manny Malhotra, Mike Commodore and Raffi Torres also scored for Columbus in regulation. Taylor Pyatt, Sundin, Steve Bernier, Henrik Sedin and Kevin Bieksa replied for Vancouver.

The teams were tied 5-5 with 6:07 gone in a third period that had both coaches calling time outs to settle things down.

Commodore and Torres gave the Blue Jackets a 5-3 advantage by 2:11 of the third period.

Commodore scored on a wrist shot after the Canucks were bottled up in their own end when defenceman Willie Mitchell failed to stickhandle past Nash and Luongo lost his stick.

Torres backhanded his own rebound behind Luongo, who was jeered as Columbus scored four goals in a 5:07 span over two periods.

Sedin got one back on a Canuck power play when he took Alex Edler's cross-ice pass to beat goalie Steve Mason.

Bieksa evened the score when his wrist shot bounced off Mason, hit Nash and found the net.

Both clubs scored twice in the middle frame.

Sundin, who whiffed on a shot moments earlier, held the puck until Mason went down, then backhanded it over him. His second goal as a Canuck came after Luongo stoned Nash on a breakaway.

Ryan Kesler was the architect of the second goal, speeding down the left wing to slide the puck to the net for a diving Bernier to deflect for his 11th of the season.

Williams scored on the first opportunity for the Blue Jackets' NHL-worst power play. He had an open net after being set up by Kris Russell.

Nash, back after missing four games with a knee injury, also had an open net when Luongo, who faced only 13 shots in the first 40 minutes, got tangled up with defenceman Shane O'Brien.

The big Columbus winger, who assisted on the first two goals, recovered the puck, circled the net and tucked it in.

Pyatt ended a 12-game drought to give Vancouver the game's first goal and his fifth of the season at 6:43 of the first period.

The lead lasted less than four minutes when Malhotra extended his points streak to five games with his sixth goal of the season, sliding a Nash pass under a sprawling Luongo.

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