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Huselius tallies twice, Blue Jackets edge Leafs

Dec 31, 2010 - 7:47 AM
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Kristian Huselius tallied two goals during Columbus' 3-2 victory over Toronto at Air Canada Centre.

R.J. Umberger scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period for Columbus, which has won two straight for the first time since a five-game streak from November 17-24.

Steve Mason turned away 20-of-22 shots for the Blue Jackets.

"We've been playing pretty well, but when you get behind it's tough on the road," Huselius said. "The home team gets the momentum...tonight, I thought we really stayed with it."

Nikolai Kulemin and Tyler Bozak each lit the lamp for the Maple Leafs, who have dropped two straight and are 8-9-3 as the host this season. Jonas Gustavsson surrendered three goals on 32 shots.

"I think the first period was our best period...but it felt like they took over the game in the second period," Gustavsson said.

Umberger netted the decisive goal by deflecting Rick Nash's rising wrister from the left circle during a power play with 16:26 remaining in the game.

Columbus staved off the Leafs, who had pulled Gustavsson for the final 90 seconds, with the help of Mason's seven saves during the final period.

Toronto got the momentum going its way at the 15:19 mark of the opening period with a 2-on-1 rush led by Clarke MacArthur. He carried the puck in close before crossing it to Kulemin for the tip-in and a 1-0 lead.

The Jackets countered a minute and a half later when Jan Hejda hit a streaking Huselius, who sent a quick shot under Gustavsson on a breakaway.

With 18 seconds remaining in the period, the Leafs took advantage of a Rostislav Klesla boarding call to regain the lead on Bozak's power play goal.

Huselius even the score again when he picked Francois Beauchemin's pocket in front the of the net and sent a backhander past the Toronto netminder's outstretched left leg 6:47 into the middle period.

Game Notes

In just his second game, Darryl Boyce recorded his first career NHL point with an assist on Kulemin's goal...Columbus snapped a seven-game road losing streak. Antoine Vermette and Nash each had two assists for the victors.