Blue Jackets improve playoff chances with blanking of Canucks

Pierre-Luc Dubois broke out of a slump with a goal and an assist while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky returned from injury to stop 21 shots as the Columbus Blue Jackets improved their NHL playoff chances with a 5-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night.

Josh Anderson, with two goals and an assist, Ryan Dzingel and Oliver Bjorkstrand also scored for the Blue Jackets (41-30-4), who moved to within two points of the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Columbus also snapped a three-game road winless streak.

Dubois had gone 11 games without a point and was goalless in 13.

The shutout was the seventh of the season for Bobrovsky, who had missed one game with an upper-body injury. Two of his best saves came in the second period when he stopped Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund on Canuck power plays.

Goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 28 shots for Vancouver.

The Canucks (32-34-10) trail the Colorado Avalanche by seven points for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vancouver lost 3-1 to the Calgary Flames Saturday night.

It was the 10th time this season the Canucks have been shutout, the most of any team in the NHL.

A pair of Canuck turnovers helped the Blue Jackets build a 3-0 lead after two periods.

Dubois made it 2-0 with just 56 seconds gone in the second. Artemi Panarin picked off a Canuck pass then fed Dubois, who scored on a screened shot. Another turnover in the neutral zone allowed Anderson to carry the puck deep into the Vancouver zone. He passed to an open Dzingel, who scored on a backhand.

Anderson scored the only goal of the first period at 16:19. He collected a loose puck near centre ice that got past Horvat then skated around defenceman Derrick Pouliot before beating Demko with a laser shot.

The Blue Jackets continued the attack in the third. Anderson scored his second of the game on a two-on-one breakaway at 10:54 while Bjorkstrand collected his 16th of the season at 7:32.