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Dubinsky's shorty turns tide in Jackets win over Leafs

The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Brandon Dubinsky couldn't remember if he'd ever scored a 3-on-4 short-handed goal during his seven-year NHL career. This much is for certain: he's never scored a bigger one than Friday in a 5-2 Columbus Blue Jackets win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dubinsky turned a dire situation into a sweet celebration in Nationwide Arena, carrying the puck the length of the ice and beating Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier to turn a tight game into a laugher.

Rookie Ryan Murray, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno also scored for the Blue Jackets.

"Everybody stepped up. It's a huge two points," Dubinsky said. "We're back to .500. Now we have to keep stacking wins and points on top of this. We can't be satisfied."

After a four-game losing streak on the road, Columbus (5-5) has won three straight.

Toronto settled for goals from Phil Kessel and Dave Bolland.

"They want to dictate the pace of the game," Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "They did a better job of that, on the whole, than we did."

It sure looked like the Leafs were ready to rally. They had a 4-on-3 power play with 8:80 to play with Columbus clinging to a 2-1 lead.

But Dubinsky gathered a loose puck wide of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and curled around to skate the puck out of harm's way when the entire ice surface seemed to open.

Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who broke his stick on a shot, headed to the bench for a new stick, leaving Cody Franson to defend Dubinsky and teammate Mark Letestu on a 2-on-1.

Dubinsky pulled up at the right circle and wired a shot that beat Bernier's glove high to make it 3-1.

"It's obviously a huge goal," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "From our perspective, it gives us some breathing room. From the Toronto bench, you go from a situation where you think you're going to tie it up, or at least keep it a one-goal game, to being down two goals in an instant.

"That's a hard thing to overcome."

The Leafs pulled to 3-2 when Bolland scored off a rebound with 4:30 to play.

But Johansen's empty-net goal with 26.1 seconds remaining clinched it and Foligno's tap-in with 6.1 seconds remaining capped the scoring.

"Our third period is not something we'd be real proud of," Carlyle said.

The Maple Leafs expected a big boost from the return of winger David Clarkson in the game.

Signed to a seven-year, $36.5 million contract as a free agent last summer, Clarkson was suspended for the first 10 games of the season after he left the bench in the preseason to join an altercation with the Buffalo Sabres.

Wearing the No. 71 once worn by revered Leaf Wendel Clark, Clarkson was whistled for hooking only 4:16 into the game, leading to Murray's goal that put the Jackets up 1-0.

Otherwise, he had a minus-1 rating with four shots on goal and two hits. He played 15 minutes, 10 seconds.

"You have to give the guy some slack," Carlyle said. "He hasn't played any games. The other guys have had 10 games."

NOTES: Leafs RW Joffrey Lupul suffered a bruised foot when he was struck with a shot during practice Thursday. He traveled with the team to Columbus but did not dress Friday. He is day-to-day. ... The Leafs welcomed LW Frazer McLaren back to the lineup for his season debut. He suffered a broken finger Oct. 1. ... Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen pulled Murray aside earlier in the week and told him to seek permanent residence in Columbus, a sign that Murray will stick with the Blue Jackets this season. ... Blue Jackets RW Jared Boll missed the morning skate with a stomach virus, but was able to play limited minutes.
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