NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Detroit
(Saturday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Columbus 4, Detroit 1
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Rick Nash scored his 41st goal of the season to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
The 19-year-old Nash, who also added an assist in the contest, sits tied atop the NHL's leaderboard with his 41 goals as the Blue Jackets completed their regular season. He is tied with Ilya Kovalchuk of the Atlanta Thrashers. Both have now played a full 82 game slate. Calgary's Jarome Iginla has 40 for the Calgary Flames with one game remaining.
"To come out and beat the best team in the league at home, the last game, we really leave on a good note," said Nash.
Trevor Letowski and Anders Eriksson each had a goal and an assist in the win for Columbus, which ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the second time ever in Detroit (2-8-0).
Steve Thomas scored the only Red Wing goal in the loss. Detroit, which already clinched the Presidents' Trophy given to the league's top team, didn't have much to play for in this one and lost for the first time in six games.
The Red Wings rested All Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who earlier in the day signed a two-year contract. Lidstrom was going to become a free agent at season's end.
The two teams traded first-period goals. Eriksson scored at the 13:33 mark, his seventh of the season, before Thomas answered 50 seconds later when he put home a rebound in the slot.
Nash eventually scored the game winner at the 4:07 mark of the middle period. He skated in with the puck on a 2-on-1 and faked the pass, getting Detroit goaltender Manny Legace off balance in order to deposit the puck into the back of the net.
Letowski pushed the margin to 3-1 later in the second period with his 15th of the season. David Vyborny later capped his season with a tally with eight seconds remaining.
Nash actually had a chance to move atop the goal-scoring chart when he skated in on a breakaway late in the third period. Legace, though, made a spectacular pad save to keep Nash stuck at 41.
"We wanted to go out with a victory, but it didn't happen that way," said Red Wings defenseman Mathieu Dandenault.
Vyborny is the only Columbus player to appear in all 82 games this season...Brendan Shanahan was the only Detroit player to appear in all of its games...Lidstrom, who was rested in the contest, missed his first game of the season...The Blue Jackets ended their season with losses in 11 of their last 16 games, and finished fourth in the Central Division with 62 points.
04/03 23:55:14 ET