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Jackets down Predators behind Aubin’s two goals

SHARE Jackets down Predators behind Aubin’s two goals

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Serge Aubin and Rostislav Klesla scored in a span of 36 seconds of the second period as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 4-3 Sunday.

Aubin, who had tallied just once since Dec. 1, later added his eighth goal of the year.

Blake Sloan, who had just five assists in 52 games over the last two years with the Blue Jackets, assisted on the back-to-back goals by Aubin and Klesla.

Mike Sillinger, who missed the Blue Jackets' last game with a strained knee, added a second-period goal on the power play as Columbus overcame a 1-0 deficit.

Kevin Dineen added two assists.

Kimmo Timonen scored on a power-play goal to start the second period, Denis Arkhipov added an even-strength goal at the end of the period, and Greg Johnson tallied in the final minute after the Predators had pulled goaltender Greg Dunham.

Cliff Ronning had a pair of assists for Nashville, and Johnson had an assist to go with his goal.

After Columbus took the lead with a three-goal burst in the middle period, goalie Ron Tugnutt made it stand up. He had 19 saves.

With the Blue Jackets ahead 3-2 midway through the third period, Tugnutt stopped Ronning on a shot from close range. Ronning pumped his fist and shook his head in disappointment.

The Blue Jackets had the last nine shots of the first period but still trailed after Timonen's shot from just inside the blue line.

At the 10:12 mark, Sloan dug the puck out of the corner and slid a pass through the slot to Aubin.

The 36th consecutive sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena had barely returned to their seats before Klesla notched his fourth goal of the year. Sloan had wristed a shot at the net as he was falling down, with the rebound bouncing off Dunham directly to Klesla in front of the net.

Sillinger was not expected to play but scored his ninth at the 8:13 mark. Espen Knutsen and Brett Harkins assisted, Harkins stretching his points streak to four games (six assists).

It was the fourth game in a row that the Blue Jackets — next to last in the NHL on the power play — scored with a man advantage. Harkins, called up from Syracuse of the AHL on Dec. 28, assisted on each goal.

The Blue Jackets, who finished with 30 shots, had 12 shots in each of the first two periods after mustering a franchise-low 11 in all of Wednesday night's 4-2 loss at St. Louis.

FLYERS 4, HURRICANES 3: At Raleigh, N.C., Jeremy Roenick scored the go-ahead goal with 10:11 left and Marty Murray had the second two-goal game of his career as Philadelphia defeated Carolina.

The Flyers, with the most road wins (13) in the NHL, finished 4-2 on their season-long, six-game trip.

Meanwhile, the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes lost their third straight at home after a franchise-record 20-point December.

Kent Manderville also scored for the Flyers.

Ron Francis scored the 501st goal of his career and Erik Cole and Martin Gelinas also scored for Carolina.

SABRES 4, WILD 1: At St. Paul, Minn., Martin Biron made 17 saves to record his first victory since Dec. 4 as Buffalo defeated Minnesota.

J.P. Dumont, Jason Woolley, Vaclav Varada and Maxim Afinogenov scored for the Sabres, who snapped a six-game road winless streak.

Biron gave up a goal on the first shot he faced, as Antti Laaksonen converted a two-on-one break with Wes Walz at 4:13 of the first period, but he was perfect the rest of the way.