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Blue Jackets finally earn win

Wisniewski returns as Columbus ends skid

Associated Press / October 26, 2011

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James Wisniewski made his long-awaited Columbus debut after serving an eight-game suspension, and rookie Ryan Johansen scored his first career goal and added an assist to give the Blue Jackets their first win of the season, 4-1, over visiting Detroit.

R.J. Umberger had a goal and an assist, rookie John Moore scored his first NHL goal, and Derek MacKenzie had one into an empty net for Columbus, which entered as the only winless club at 0-7-1, the worst start in team history.

Grant Clitsome added a career-best three assists and goalie Steve Mason, who was shaken up on Detroit’s first goal and left for a few minutes, rebounded with a sturdy performance and 30 saves.

Wisniewski, who played a game-high 27 minutes and 21 seconds, was suspended for the remainder of the preseason and eight regular-season games for a hit to the head of Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck in an exhibition game on Sept. 23.

Darren Helm scored for Detroit, which started 5-0 but dropped its second straight. Ty Conklin, who finished with 28 saves, has taken both losses.

Penguins 3, Islanders 0 - Pascal Dupuis and Richard Park had goals, and Marc-Andre Fleury was sharp in making 33 saves in his 20th NHL shutout as Pittsburgh earned its fourth straight win by beating host New York.

Star center Evgeni Malkin returned to the Penguins’ depleted lineup after missing five games because of his troublesome right knee, but Pittsburgh didn’t need any offense from him to send the Islanders to their third straight loss following a three-game winning streak.

Jordan Staal added his sixth of the season, scoring into an empty net off an assist from Dupuis.

Malkin sat out seven of the previous eight games, and the Penguins hardly missed him. Pittsburgh is 7-2-2 through an NHL-high 11 games.

It was nowhere remotely close to the record-setting mayhem from February when the clubs combined for 65 penalties, 346 penalty minutes, 10 ejections, 15 fighting majors, and 20 misconducts in the Islanders’ lopsided victory. Records were set for both teams for most combined penalty minutes.

Lightning 4, Sabres 3 - Mathieu Garon made 36 saves to help lift Tampa Bay to a sweep of its home-and-home series with host Buffalo.

Vincent Lecavalier, Nate Thompson, Steven Stamkos, and Ryan Malone all scored for the Lightning (4-3-2), who defeated the Sabres, 3-0, on Saturday in Tampa Bay.

Brad Boyes had a goal and assist, and Thomas Vanek and Nathan Gerbe scored for the Sabres, who’ve squandered leads in both of their losses in Buffalo.

Senators 3, Hurricanes 2 - Jason Spezza beat Cam Ward between the pads on the second round of the shootout, giving Ottawa a road win over Carolina.

Ottawa led, 2-0, with five minutes to play before late goals from Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner forced extra play. Spezza and Zenon Konopka had the Senators’ goals in regulation.

Sharks 3, Predators 1 - Joe Pavelski scored twice to lead San Jose over host Nashville. Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, winners of two straight.

Rookie Craig Smith had the lone goal for Nashville, which has lost five of six.

Blackhawks 3, Ducks 2 - Patrick Kane scored the winning goal in the shootout and had two assists in regulation, lifting Chicago over visiting Anaheim.

Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago, which has won three of four and recorded at least 1 point in seven of its eight games.

Oilers 3, Canucks 2 - Nikolai Khabibulin made 35 saves and Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist each to help Edmonton win at home over Vancouver. Shawn Horcoff also scored for the Oilers, who won their second straight.

Cody Hodgson and Alexandre Burrows responded for the Canucks. Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals. He was replaced by Cory Schneider, who stopped all eight shots he faced.

Devils 3, Kings 0 - Dainius Zubrus scored two of New Jersey’s three second-period goals and ended host Los Angeles’s franchise-record shutout streak after more than 221 minutes.

Stars 3, Coyotes 2 - Trevor Daley scored on Dallas’s eighth shootout attempt after Adam Burish tied it with 61 seconds left in regulation, helping the host Stars beat Phoenix.

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