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NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Vancouver



(Sunday, March 21st)

Final Score: Columbus 5, Vancouver 4

Vancouver, BC (Sports Network) - Nikolai Zherdev scored a pair of goals and assisted on another during a three-goal third period, as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from a two-goal deficit to post an improbable 5-4 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Zherdev finished with two goals and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who snapped an eight-game losing streak. Columbus, coming off a 2-0 loss at Calgary on Thursday, hadn't won since March 2 at Carolina.

"It's a huge relief, it's been a long time since we won," said Blue Jackets head coach Gerard Gallant.

Todd Marchant chipped in the tying goal in the third and an assist, while Rick Nash and Brian Holzinger also scored. Marc Denis finished with 27 saves in the victory.

Artem Chubarov scored twice for Vancouver, which blew a 4-2 lead with 11 1/2 minutes remaining. Brendan Morrison and Henrik Sedin also scored for the Canucks and Johan Hedberg made just 18 saves.

Vancouver remained tied for fourth place with Dallas in the Western Conference playoff chase.

Zherdev scored the winner with 1:55 to play. He picked up the puck in the right corner, skated into the right circle and snapped a shot that deflected past Hedberg.

The Canucks pulled Hedberg for an extra attacker with about a minute to play, but could not score the equalizer. Vancouver had a 6-on-4 skating advantage for the final 23 seconds after Jaroslav Spacek went off for tripping.

Zherdev's first goal of the game at 8:25 of the third pulled Columbus within 4-3. He raced in behind the Vancouver net to steal the puck from Hedberg, then skated into the low left circle and shot the puck off the scrambling netminder for the goal.

"It was the best game I played in the NHL," Zherdev said through teammate and fellow Russian Alexander Svitov.

Marchant tied it on a power play with 4:47 remaining. Zherdev took a shot from the right circle that Hedberg stopped. Marchant's first rebound attempt at the right side of the crease was turned aside, but he was able to chip another shot past the netminder for his ninth goal.

Chubarov snapped a 2-2 tie with just 30 seconds left in the second period, then scored his 10th of the season just 2:41 into the third for a 4-2 edge.

Brad May started the play on the second goal with a shot off the rush from the left point. May chased down his own rebound in the left corner and fed the puck behind the net to Mike Keane, who then sent a pass to the low left circle. Chubarov gathered it in, spun around and slipped a shot through Denis' pads.

Denis stopped the other 12 shots he faced in the third.

The Canucks grabbed a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the first 3:38 of the opening period.

Morrison scored his 20th of the season, blasting a shot home from the right circle near the boards at the 2:15 mark. Sedin scored just 1:23 later, beating Denis with a shot from the right circle.

Ed Jovanovski assisted on both goals. The burly Vancouver defenseman returned to the lineup after missing 25 games with a separated right shoulder.

The Blue Jackets scored at the 5:00 mark to pull within one. Holzinger, at the top of the crease, redirected a pass from Zherdev into the net for his seventh goal.

Nash tied it at 3:31 of the second period with his 38th goal. He raced from his own blue line into the Vancouver zone along the right wing, then cut into the slot and snapped a wrister past Hedberg.

Game Notes

Zherdev notched his first career two-goal game...Columbus was 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off each of Vancouver's six chances with the extra skater...The Canucks fell to 1-3-2-1 since Todd Bertuzzi was suspended for the season...Columbus improved to just 6-26-4-2 on the road this season.

03/22 02:25:00 ET


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