By MITCH STACY
AP Sports Writer
COLUMBUS — Sven Baertschi sparked a four-goal second period for Vancouver, Jacob Markstrom had 27 saves and the Canucks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Friday night.
Seth Jones put Columbus up 1-0 during a strong first period, but Vancouver power ahead in the second. Baertschi, Erik Gudbranson, Brandon Gaunce and Alexander Edler scored, and Jake Virtanen added an empty-net goal with nine seconds left in the third to help the Canucks snap a five-game skid.
Thomas Vanek and Henrik Sedin each had two assists for Vancouver, which won for just the third time since Dec. 7.
Sergei Bobrovsky let in four of the Canuck’s 12 shots in the second period. He finished with 24 saves for the game. Scott Harrington also scored for Columbus.
The Blue Jackets are second in the Metropolitan Division as they begin their league-mandated five-day break. They dropped a second straight game to another of the NHL’s worst teams after losing to Buffalo 3-1 on Thursday night.
Early on, though, it looked as if the game might go the Blue Jackets’ way.
At 4:33 into the first period, Nick Foligno found Jones wide open at the top of the right circle, and the All-Star defenseman slapped a shot past Markstrom for his eighth goal.
Baertschi tied it with his ninth goal on a power play 1:19 into the second. Vanek set it up with a nifty behind-the-back pass across the goal mouth, and Baertschi swept it in from a sharp angle. Gudbranson gave the Canucks the lead at 5:38 when he beat Bobrovsky from the right point.
The Canucks got another power-play goal at 14:31. Gaunce broke his stick on the shot, but the puck slipped in between Bobrovsky’s pads. The fourth goal came at 17:15 when Edler’s shot deflected off the skate of defender Markus Nutivaara.
Harrington made it 4-2 with 7:25 remaining, but the Blue Jackets couldn’t get closer.
NOTES: Henrik Sedin has 18 assists in his last 19 games. His twin brother and line mate Daniel Sedin has two goals and three assists in the last four games. … Vanek has five goals and eight assists in the last 10 games. … Columbus F Sonny Milano missed his second game with an unspecified upper-body injury. … Vancouver D Chris Tanev returned after missing two games with facial injuries. He lost six teeth after taking a puck in the mouth against Toronto on Jan. 6. … Vancouver scratched D Derrick Pouliot, D Alex Beiga and F Michael Chaput. … Jones extended his point streak to four games with the first-period goal.
Vancouver: At Minnesota on Sunday night.
Columbus: After a five-day break, Blue Jackets host Dallas on Thursday night.
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