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Dorsett scores first NHL goal to help Blue Jackets defeat Canucks 4-2

The Canadian Press
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Columbus Blue Jackets\' Rick Nash, left, controls the puck in front of Vancouver Canucks\' Willie Mitchell during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Paul Vernon Author: The Hockey News

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Dorsett scores first NHL goal to help Blue Jackets defeat Canucks 4-2

The Canadian Press
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - As a six-year old, Derek Dorsett used to imagine scoring in the NHL. Now he finally knows what it's like.

Dorsett's first NHL goal stood up as the game-winner and Rick Nash scored into an empty net to complete the Blue Jackets' 4-2 win Tuesday night over the injury-riddled Vancouver Canucks.

"Fifteen years ago I was downstairs in my basement pretending I was an NHL player scoring a goal," the 21-year-old Dorsett, who scored late in the second period.

Nash also assisted on Kristian Huselius' goal and Jason Chimera also scored for Columbus, which improved to 2-0 at home. Rookie Jakub Voracek had two assists.

Pascal Leclaire made 24 saves - several during a penalty kill late in the third period - in his return after missing one game with a bruised hand.

"He was unbelievable. He definitely saved us tonight," Nash said. "That power play, he made a couple nice saves coming across. That's what we need from him - to win games. He was definitely out best player tonight."

Kyle Wellwood, called up to the Canucks before the game, had a goal and an assist and Kevin Bieksa also scored for Vancouver, which lost its third straight to finish a six-game road trip 2-4.

Roberto Luongo had 28 stops but dropped to 3-3 on the season with a lineup lacking regulars, defenceman Sami Salo (groin), and forwards Darcy Hordichuk (knee) and Pavol Demitra (ribs). Forward Rick Rypien missed the game with a viral illness.

"Obviously the road trip didn't turn out the way we anticipated," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're still in the process of evaluating our team. With that being said, there are some areas that we are going to work on here in the next couple of days."

Trailing 3-1 early in the third period, Bieksa smacked home a centring pass from Wellwood from behind the net for his first at 5:01 to get Vancouver within one.

Moments later, Ryan Kesler nearly tied it, but he couldn't jam the puck home, instead, sliding it near the goal line across the crease after stealing it from Fedor Tyutin.

Vancouver continued to pressure the Blue Jackets defence, creating turnovers and more chances.

Mike Commodore took a holding penalty at 15:28, but Leclaire made a stick save on Henrik Sedin, a pad save on Steve Bernier alone at the left crease and stopped Mason Raymond on the rush to thwart the Canucks.

"They were passing the puck pretty well," Leclaire said. "They were able to create a little bit, but it's normal. We just found a way to win and that's the important thing."

Nash scored his fifth into the empty net with 19 seconds remaining.

Chimera opened the scoring, speeding through centre ice and down the left wing, he ripped a slap shot from the top of the left circle past Luongo at 2:32 of the first period.

With Henrik Sedin in the penalty box, Huselius scored on a power-play rush to make it 2-0 at 6:22. Voracek sent the puck across the Canucks zone to Nash, who snapped a centring pass from the right boards to Huselius, streaking to the net.

Wellwood responded for the Canucks just over a minute later, also on the power play. Gliding toward the crease unmarked, he converted a centring pass from Kesler to cut the Columbus lead to 2-1.

Dorsett made it 3-1 at 14:23 of the second period, sneaking home a rebound after a hard-angled shot from Commodore along the right boards.

"The first 45 minutes was the way we wanted to play," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The last 10-12 minutes we got bogged down."

Notes: Vancouver C Jason Krog was also called up for the game. ... Columbus placed LW Fredrik Modin, who missed 59 games last season with injuries, on injured reserve with a sore groin and activated C Manny Malhotra, out since the pre-season with a lower-body injury. ... Blue Jackets C R.J. Umberger and Kesler played together at Ohio State in Columbus. ... Columbus C Michael Peca served the last of a five-game suspension for touching a referee while arguing a call in the Blue Jackets' season opener.

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Dorsett scores first NHL goal to help Blue Jackets defeat Canucks 4-2