NHL Game Summary - Chicago at Columbus
(Monday, December 26th)
Final Score: Columbus 4, Chicago 3 (OT)
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Nikolai Zherdev scored with 23.2 seconds left in the third and Jaroslav Balastik netted the game-winning goal in overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off a 4-3 comeback win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena.
Rostislav Klesla and Adam Foote also scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a six-game losing streak. Zherdev added an assist, while Ron Hainsey recorded two helpers in the win.
"We showed a lot of character coming back tonight," said Foote. "This team really wants to win and if we can put away a few mistakes it's going to make things a lot easier."
Marc Denis made 42 saves for Columbus, which also put a stop to a three-game home losing streak.
Martin Lapointe, Anton Babchuk and Duncan Keith all scored for the Blackhawks, who lost for the fourth game in a row. Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 28-of-32 shots faced in the loss.
Down 3-2 with time winding down, Zherdev took the puck out of his own zone up the left side and into the offensive zone. The forward then cut towards the net between two defenders, wristed a shot that was stopped, but smacked in the rebound to tie it at 3-3.
"Going coast to coast is rare for me this season, but I think it's what I do best," said Zherdev through a translator. "I think it was the most important goal of my life right now. It was most important because it was important for the team tonight."
The Blue Jackets completed the comeback in overtime after Balastik received a pass in the right circle from Radoslav Suchy and his ensuing shot beat Khabibulin on his glove side.
Lapointe's seventh goal of the season 3:28 into the first gave Chicago an early 1-0 lead. However, Columbus would tie the game at 1-1 before the end of the opening frame on Klesla's power-play goal with 3:59 left.
Foote's short-handed tally put the Blue Jackets on top 2-1 less then two minutes into the second. Down a man, Columbus cleared the puck out of the zone with Zherdev taking possession. He found Foote with a pass and the defenseman connected with a shot from the right circle.
However, Chicago would take a lead after two straight goals.
Babchuk's shot from the point went through a screen to tie the contest at 2-2 at the 5:18 mark of the second.
The Blackhawks took a 3-2 edge after Michael Holmqvist left a drop pass for Keith short-handed and the defenseman's shot from the left point found the back of the net.
Columbus improved to 2-0-0 against Chicago this season. The Blue Jackets downed the Blackhawks 3-2 on October 9...The Blue Jackets improved to 7-4-1 against Chicago at Nationwide Arena...Balastik has three goals in his last four games...Chicago's Tyler Arnason picked up his 18th assist of the season...Zherdev's goal was his 10th of the year...Both teams finished 1-for-8 on the power play.
12/26 22:57:14 ET