Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky wasn’t part of a five-game winning streak that yanked his team out of the NHL basement.

Dubinsky returned last night from a sprained ligament in his left knee that kept him out of the lineup for 11 games, just in time for the streak to end with a 2-1 shootout loss to Vancouver at Nationwide Arena. But Dubinsky, anchoring a line that included wingers Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson, was an integral part in helping the Jackets extend their points streak to eight games, tying a franchise record.

He was rusty, by his admission, in the first and second periods. But his line was dangerous in the third. The Blue Jackets didn’t score, but they planted themselves in the Canucks’ zone and zipped the puck around with aplomb.

“His energy and his speed were good,” coach Todd Richards said.

Dubinsky took two shots, was credited with five hits (tied for the team lead with Nick Foligno) won 11 of 16 faceoffs and had 19:36 of ice time, fourth among Jackets forwards.

“Those shifts that we strung together, that’s the way we need to play the whole time,” Dubinsky said. “If we do that, it’s a fun game. We just have to pick up our consistency.”

Dubinsky might have returned earlier, he said, but he’s glad he didn’t.

“With muscle or ligament injuries, they can nag,” Dubinsky said. “I wanted to make sure I was ready to go and ready to help this team to my full ability. I really wanted to play against Detroit over the weekend, but I didn’t feel like I was capable of doing what I wanted. But we got the four points. I’m glad I took the extra few days.”