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Jackets rally to beat Coyotes 5-3 @NHLdotcom
The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't let a little thing like an early 2-0 deficit get in the way of their quest for a playoff berth.

The Jackets trailed 2-0 less than eight minutes into Friday's game against Phoenix, but rallied to get even by the end of the first period before rookie Matt Calvert's natural hat trick led them to a 5-3 victory.

"I skated back to the bench and my teammates were congratulating me," Calvert said of being saluted with a cascade of hats after his third goal gave the Jackets a 5-2 lead at 3:27 of the third period. "Seeing all the hats going down ... the crowd was electric. It was unbelievable. It just kind of lasted for so long I didn't really know what to do. I just stood there. It was an exciting moment, something I'll remember for the rest of my career."

Calvert, playing in his 20th NHL game, had never had two goals in a game. His hat trick included a highlight-reel goal in which he tipped the puck to himself waist-high, then batted it into the net at 8:52 of the second to give Columbus a 4-2 lead.

"It's one of those plays that you try a few times," he said with a grin. "Luckily, that one got that one past the goalie. It was pretty special to see that go in."

The come-from-behind win gave the Jackets an 8-1-1 mark in their last 10 games as they battle for a playoff spot in the West. They have 68 points, 11th in the West, but are just four points out of fifth as they prepare for a five-game trip.

The win was special to the Blue Jackets, who have won three in a row, five of six and have points in nine of their last 10 games. The began the night just four points out of the No. 6 position in the wild, wild West. They're in the thick of things heading out on a five-game trip.

"Like we've been doing the last month and a half, we responded well," said R.J. Umberger, who had a goal and a pair of assists in the Jackets' third consecutive win. "We've been down 2-0 a couple of times. Our power play stepped up and got us back in the game."

The Blue Jackets were 3 for 9 with the extra man -- their most productive game of the season. They did not score two power-play goals until their 49th game, but have scored two or more five times in the last 12.

Mikkel Boedker set up goals by David Schlemko and Radim Vrbata to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead just 7:57 into the game. But Phoenix took three penalties in less than four minutes -- and paid the price as Umberger scored during a 5-on-3 advantage and Jakub Voracek tied it at 18:22 with a second power-play goal.

Calvert then started his hat trick with the Jackets' third power-play goal, firing a shot that hit Phoenix defenseman Derek Morris and went into the net at 2:37. His highlight-reel goal 6:15 later made it a two-goal game, and he lifted his own rebound past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for his third goal early in the third period, becoming only the second Blue Jackets rookie to score that many in a game.

The crowd of 16,771 tossed so many hats on the ice that the public-address announcer eventually asked fans to not throw any more onto the rink so play could continue.

Calvert, a fifth-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft, has 9 goals and 13 points in 20 games since being called up from AHL Springfield on Jan. 6.

"He's done lots of good things and is certainly making the most of his opportunities, getting elevated and (earning) the ice time," coach Scott Arniel said. "At the NHL level there is always the unknown, but I saw him in junior and I saw him do what he did tonight."

The Coyotes, who had won eight in a row before an 8-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday, showed the effects of playing their fourth game in seven nights on a five-game road swing.

Coach Dave Tippett blamed it on the penalties.

"When you do that you are just giving the other team a better chance of winning and we just kept doing it until they won," he said. "Four or five of the penalties we took tonight were players that got beat in a one-on-one battle. That's just unacceptable for us right now."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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