Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets shaded the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 Friday night, giving Todd Richards his first victory as interim head coach.
Brassard's third multi-point effort in the last 11 outings allowed Columbus to win for just the second time this season when yielding the first goal. They came into the night 2-17-2 when falling behind first.
After Phoenix defenseman Adrian Aucoin put his team up less than two minutes into the game, the Blue Jackets responded with two goals in a span of 1:37 later in the period.
Tomas Kubalik evened the score at 5:32, tipping home an Aaron Johnson centering pass for his first NHL goal. Rick Nash then gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead with a wrist shot that beat Coyotes netminder Jason LaBarbera through a screen.
Ryan Russell padded the advantage 1:52 into the second period before the Coyotes finally stopped the bleeding, as Lauri Korpikoski redirected a Radim Vrbata shot from in close at 8:48.
Brassard restored the two-goal lead with 1:24 remaining in the frame, blasting a shot past LaBarbera from the right circle.
Vrbata's 22nd of the year moved Phoenix back within one at 11:12 of the third frame, but the Coyotes couldn't convert the equalizer as they fell for just the third time in their last 11 meetings with the Blue Jackets.