- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - Antoine Vermette has been a perfect _ yes, perfect _ trade-deadline addition for the playoff-hungry Columbus Blue Jackets.

Vermette led Columbus to its fourth straight victory since joining the team, scoring two goals in the Blue Jackets’ 5-3 win over Chicago on Friday night.

“I got to say since I got here, the guys have made it easy on me. Everyone is working hard and working the same way,” Vermette said. “I couldn’t ask for anything for better than that. Guys are playing pretty well with good structure.

“I’ve been lucky enough to never miss one playoff. Having a chance to join this group of guys and make a pretty good push, I’m pretty happy about it.”

Acquired from Ottawa on March 4 for goalie Pascal Leclaire and a second-round pick in 2009, Vermette has three goals and three assists in his first four games with Columbus. He had nine goals and 19 assists in 62 games for the Senators.

“He’s been a big help,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “He’s just part of the team now.”

Backup goalie Wade Dubielewicz made 27 saves, and Kristian Huselius, Raffi Torres and Rick Nash added goals. Columbus is sixth in the Western Conference _ four points ahead of Edmonton and Dallas _ in its bid to make the playoffs for the first time.

Dubielewicz got the call after Steve Mason made 38 saves and stopped all three Pittsburgh shooters in Columbus’ 4-3 shootout win Thursday night.

“We needed him and he stepped up,” Hitchcock said.

Dubielewicz, making his third appearance since being claimed off waivers in January, won for the first time since April 4, 2008, with the New York Islanders.

“For me personally, it was a big thing for Hitch believing I could come in and play down the stretch here,” Dubielewicz said. “It was a great thrill, especially when you’ve got a guy like Mase, who plays 90-95 percent of the games.”

Brent Seabrook, Kris Versteeg and Patrick Kane scored for Chicago.

The Blackhawks, fourth in the Western Conference, have lost three of their past four and are 3-5-1 in their past nine.

“We had a good finish, but to be successful in this league you have to have a good start,” Seabrook said. “Any time you give up two goals early and don’t respond in the first period, it’s pretty tough to come back in this league.”

Canucks 4, Kings 2

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Henrik Sedin scored twice in a 30-second span midway through the third period for Vancouver.

Sedin’s outburst came less than a minute and a half after the Kings tied it on goals by Alexander Frolov and Anze Kopitar 26 seconds apart.

Sedin put Vancouver back in front with his first goal in nine games, and the 100th goal of his career. He added No. 101 on the next shift, and also had an assist.

Alex Burrows and Mats Sundin scored in the first period for Vancouver, and Roberto Luongo finished with 24 saves.

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