COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Jason Chimera scored twice and Adam Foote added his first goal with Columbus, leading the Blue Jackets to a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

David Vyborny also scored for Columbus, while Marc Denis made 24 saves.

Scott Thornton had the lone goal for the Sharks, who lost their third straight.

While trying to stop a breakaway by Columbus’ Nikolai Zherdev, Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was rammed by teammate Christian Ehrhoff, who was trailing the play, and driven into the boards. Nabokov stayed on the ice for several minutes, then got up and played for one minute before skating into the dressing room. He did not return.

The Blue Jackets, who came in with fewer points (2) and fewer goals (11) than any NHL team, didn’t waste any time getting to Nabokov’s replacement, Vesa Toskala.

Five seconds into a power play later in the period, Columbus’ Manny Malhotra won a faceoff in the defensive end and the puck slid all the way to Chimera at mid-ice. He skated across the blue line and his slap shot beat Toskala on the glove side for a 2-1 lead.

Malhotra has an assist in his last five games.

Then with less than a second left in the period, Jan Hrdina won a faceoff in the Blue Jackets offensive zone and Bryan Berard fed Foote at the right point. Foote, a former Colorado Avalanche mainstay who was Columbus’ biggest free agent signing this summer, unloaded a slap shot for a 3-1 lead.

Chimera scored his third goal of the season in the third period, taking a pass from Tyler Wright on a rush and coming in unobstructed on Toskala, faking and scoring on a backhand.

The Blue Jackets weathered three power plays in the opening minutes before breaking through on Vyborny’s first goal of the season. Carrying the puck in from the right wing, he swooped past Brad Stuart and then skated laterally in front of the net, patiently waiting until Nabokov hit the ice before going high over his right shoulder for the unassisted goal.

Notes: The Sharks dropped to 13-4-0-1 all-time against Columbus. … The Blue Jackets were returning home after going 1-4 on a road trip. … Toskala gave up three goals on 15 shots. … The game was the third of a six-game road trip for San Jose, which is 14-1 away from home this season. … Each team was 1-for-7 on the power play.

AP-ES-10-21-05 2135EDT


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