Nash scored twice and was solid all over the ice to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to its second road win in as many nights, a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
The Blue Jackets took care of the Stars in Dallas on Friday night by winning in a shootout. On Saturday, they were strong in the third period and took care of the Coyotes in regulation.
“We played well and stuck to our system,” Nash said. “That’s two huge points on this road trip.”
Nash’s scoring is down this season, but Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock still looks at the 22-year-old as a developing leader and all-around player.
“Right now, he’s playing extremely well,” Hitchcock said of Nash. “He was in a strong position to score and should have scored four.”
Fredrik Modin broke a 2-2 tie early in the third period with a power-play goal. Modin’s 17th goal of the season was the 199th of his NHL career. Nash added his second of the night – and 20th of the season – just over five minutes later.
David Vyborny had three assists for the Blue Jackers to push his season total to 42 assists, one short of a career best.
Nash put Columbus on the board first, converting a centring pass from Vyborny at 2:37 for his 20th goal of the season.
Phoenix tied the game late in the period when Shane Doan scored on the power play at 15:44. At the left of the net, Doan knocked in the rebound of Keith Ballard’s shot from the left point.
Early in the second, the Coyotes broke the tie when Ballard ripped a slap shot from the left face off that beat goalie Brian Boucher at 1:41.
Columbus answered when Jason Chimera flipped in a backhander at 8:36 of the second period. Chimera converted a centring pass off the left wing boards from Manny Malhotra into his 13th goal of the season.
The Coyotes cut the into the 4-2 Columbus lead when Jeff Taffe , just recalled from AHL San Antonio, scored his first goal of the season on a backhander at 7:25 of the third.
The Coyotes had several opportunities late in the game to tie. The Jackets were called for two minor penalties in a three-minute span midway through the final period.
“We capitalized early in the game and had the opportunity late, but we didn’t utilize the chances,” Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky. “There was not a lack of effort on our part. I thought we tried everything we could to get the goal.”
Despite the power-play opportunities in the third period, the Coyotes were outshot 11-9.
Notes: Nash has reached 20 goals in each of his four years in the NHL. … The season series ended with two wins each . … Phoenix plays seven of its next 10 games at home. … The crowd was announced at 16,207, short of a sellout. The Coyotes have sold out only one home game this season.