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Toews scores twice as Hawks overtake Jackets 6-5

by Brian Hunter

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews made sure his team's eight-game road trip got off to a flying start.

Toews scored a pair of power-play goals in the third period and the Blackhawks rallied after blowing an early lead for a 6-5 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday afternoon at Nationwide Arena, completing a home-and-home sweep.

"A lot of us -- me personally -- weren't shooting the puck at the right times," Toews said. "So we changed that up a little bit."

Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash snapped an 11-game goal drought by scoring twice, and they carried a 4-3 lead into the final 20 minutes.

But Toews evened the score during a man advantage at 4:07, Ben Eager came up with the go-ahead goal at 8:29 and Toews added an insurance goal on another Chicago power play with 4:57 remaining. That one held up as the winner after Raffi Torres got one back for Columbus with 2:22 left.

"We were waiting for that opportunity to get the power play going," Toews said. "It clicked for us at the right moment. That was a tough game, giving up that lead there during the second period, and we just knew we had to stick with it. It's nice when you shoot the puck and you see a couple go in."

Andrew Ladd, Troy Brouwer and Marian Hossa beat Steve Mason in the first period as the Blackhawks took leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but the Jackets came right back.

Kristian Huselius, who finished with a goal and two assists, made it 2-1 at 11:44 only to have Hossa answer for Chicago just 24 seconds later. But Columbus made it 3-2 with 1:48 left in the first as Nash scored for the first time since Dec. 23 in Dallas.

"I think everybody got excited offensively," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "They had a lot of rush chances that first period and got some momentum off of that. Then the early goals in the second period put us back against it. But we had a good third period and we were dangerous on the rush ourselves."

The Jackets then took the lead in the second, with Kris Russell beating Cristobal Huet at 3:25 and Nash adding his 21st of the season at 7:12 for the go-ahead goal.

"It was a wide-open hockey game," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I thought both teams' defenses were vulnerable. We had a lot of chances to score and they had chances. We poured a lot into today and didn't get the result."

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

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