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Coyotes Upset By Blue Jackets 5-2, Start March With 0-2 Record


Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Rick Nash totaled two goals and one assist, as Columbus downed Phoenix, 5-2, on Saturday night.

Nikita Nikitin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight for the first time since February 3-7.

Derick Brassard and Colton Gillies added scores to back a 30-save performance by Steve Mason.

"I thought this was a big win for us, Mason gave us some big stops behind us and hopefully we can build this into a little roll," said Nash.

Ray Whitney and Lauri Korpikoski lit the lamp for the Coyotes, who have lost two in a row since winning six straight.

Mike Smith took the loss after allowing four goals on 25 shots.

"We spent way too much time in the neutral zone and our own end," said Korpikoski. "We just couldn't get any momentum going today."

The Jackets assumed the lead for good just prior to the midway point of the third after Nikitin's floater from the right point got through traffic and sailed by Smith. R.J. Umberger won a right-circle draw back to the point for the fortuitous shot, which changed direction off a Coyotes defender in front.

Columbus assumed a two-goal advantage roughly 4 1/2 minutes later. Nash set up the play, stripping a Phoenix puck-carrier behind Smith and centering for Brassard, who scored from the left circle.

Gillies then hit the empty net with one minute remaining to seal the victory.

Nash put the Blue Jackets on the board while shorthanded with less than four minutes to play in the first period, breaking free up the middle and scoring from the left wing with a wrister.

It was 2-0 for the visitors at the 5:18 mark of the second period thanks to Nash, who raced by a Coyotes defenseman up the middle and scoring on a backhand a split-second before colliding with Smith.

Whitney put the hosts on the board just over eight minutes in and Korpikoski tied the game at 13:50, slamming home a Shane Doan rebound atop the crease.

Game Notes

Columbus has won both meetings this season and three of four since last February...Nash recorded his 10th multi-point effort of the year...Nikitin has notched goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his brief career...Doan picked up two assists in defeat...Gillies' last goal came on February 1.