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NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Columbus



(Thursday, March 9th)

Final Score: Columbus 5, Phoenix 4

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Rick Nash scored a goal and added an assist, as the Columbus Blue Jackets dropped the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-4, at Nationwide Arena.

Jan Hrdina, Nikolai Zherdev, Michael Rupp and Jason Chimera all tallied goals for the Blue Jackets, who won for only the second time in their last seven games. Pascal Leclaire made 29 saves in the win.

Mike Comrie and Dave Scatchard scored late in the third period, but it wasn't enough as the Coyotes lost for the second time in the last three games. Curtis Joseph allowed five goals on 30 shots faced.

On a two-man advantage, Columbus took a 1-0 lead with 3:36 left in the opening period. David Vyborny skated into the slot and dished the puck over to Nash in the right faceoff circle and he one-timed the disc through Joseph's five hole.

With 11 seconds remaining in the first period, Dennis Seidenberg turned the puck over in front of his own net and Hrdina whacked the loose puck past Joseph for a 2-0 Blue Jackets edge.

"It's always good when you score a goal in the last minute of a period," said Leclaire. "It's a huge boost. When you can go up two nothing it can hurt a team."

Just 17 seconds into the middle session, Columbus took a 3-0 lead on Zherdev's 23rd goal of the season.

Phoenix then netted two goals to get back into the contest.

Geoff Sanderson scored a power-play goal at the 7:24 mark of the second stanza to make it a 3-1 game. Sanderson deflected Seidenberg's slap shot from the point past Leclaire on his stick side.

A shorthanded tally by Derek Morris at 13:13 of the second period pulled the Coyotes to within one at 3-2.

Rupp scored 5:40 into the final frame to give the Blue Jackets a 4-2 lead. Just 28 seconds later, Chimera provided a three-goal cushion with his 13th goal of the campaign as he banged in a rebound in front from a Manny Malhotra wrister from the slot.

Late goals by Comrie and Scatchard made it a 5-4 game, however, the Coyotes were unable to net the equalizer.

"Tonight we were a bit more simple (in our play) and it showed in the score," said Nash. "The scoring came back around tonight. We had lots of chances. Maybe we could have had more than five (goals). But we did play strong tonight. It was an exciting game and we got two points."

Game Notes

Nash has 18 goals and 14 assists on the season...Columbus went 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Coyotes were 1-for-5 with the man advantage...Phoenix was extremely busy before the trade deadline. They acquired forward Oleg Kvasha and a conditional fifth-round draft pick from the New York Islanders in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft. Phoenix also acquired minor leaguer Josh Gratton and a pair of 2006 second-round draft picks from Philadelphia in exchange for defenseman Denis Gauthier. They also brought in center Joel Perrault from Anaheim in exchange for defenseman Sean O'Donnell. To wrap up the wheeling and dealing, the 'Yotes acquired defenseman Jamie Rivers from the Detroit Red Wings for a seventh-round draft pick in 2007.

03/09 22:24:38 ET


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