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NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Columbus



(Wednesday, December 26th)

Final Score: Columbus 2, Atlanta 0

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Pascal Leclaire made 21 saves to notch his seventh shutout of the season, as the Columbus Blue Jackets cooled off the Atlanta Thrashers, 2-0, at Nationwide Arena.

Leclaire came into the game tied with the New York Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist for the league lead in shutouts, but broke the tie with his performance, helping Columbus win just its second game in five tries.

Leclaire also added an assist, and Dan Fritsche and Jared Boll tallied goals for the Blue Jackets, who wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 2-2 record.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 26-of-28 shots, but the Thrashers had a four-game winning streak snapped.

"It (was) a pretty quiet night," Leclaire said. "Our guys played great in front of me, not a lot of scoring chances. Guys played solid. It's a team win, but the doughnut at the end is just a bonus."

Columbus opened the scoring 7:39 into the game on the man-advantage. After getting the puck from Leclaire, Ron Hainsey streaked across center ice with Fritsche to his right. Hainsey dished to Fritsche as he approached the blue line, and Fritsche blasted a high shot past Lehtonen's stick side as he moved through the right circle.

The Blue Jackets tallied another score in the second, this time Boll picking up the score. With his team applying heavy pressure on net, Boll got the puck near the top of the crease while skating backward.

Lehtonen was out of position trying to find the disc, and Boll slid it under the goaltender's glove to put the Jackets on top, 2-0, a little over three minutes into the period.

Columbus thoroughly outplayed Atlanta through two periods - the Blue Jackets had 23 shots on goal to the Thrashers' 13, and had four power play chances to Atlanta's two.

"The first two periods we were stuck in the mud," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said. "They were doing the things we talked about doing; they played the way we wanted to play."

The Thrashers recorded eight shots on goal in the third period, but Leclaire turned them all away to seal the win.

Game Notes

Columbus' leading scorer Rick Nash didn't play because of an illness...Leclaire's shutout was the eighth of his career, and his last one came on November 23 against Minnesota...This was the only meeting of the season between the teams...Atlanta holds a 4-5-0 edge in the all-time series.

12/26 22:31:05 ET

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