NHL Game Summary - Columbus at St. Louis
(Thursday, November 9th)
Final Score: Columbus 4, St. Louis 2
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Dan Fritsche's goal and two assists, part of a four-goal second-period, lifted the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center.
Defenseman Rostislav Klesla recorded his first two goals of the season, Sergei Fedorov added two helpers, and David Vyborny notched his team-leading 10th assist. Pascal Leclaire hung in to stop 24 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have won two of three.
Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk each scored and Manny Legace handled 17-of-21 shots in 40 minutes of play in a losing cause. Curtis Sanford replaced him in the third, and stopped all eight shots he faced for the Blues, who finished up a three-game homestand with two consecutive losses.
Down two in the third period, the Blues' last best chance happened with a little more than eight minutes gone. Dean McAmmond's wrist shot to the far side post appeared to bring St. Louis within a goal. The tally was waived off, though, as Joel Perreault was whistled for incidental contact with Leclaire on the shot.
The emotion of that lost opportunity sparked some rancor on both sides, as Columbus' Jody Shelley and St. Louis' Matt Walker engaged in fisticuffs which lasted nearly three minutes immediately following the disallowed score. Deflated from the lost chance, the Blues did not put up much of a fight for the remainder of the contest.
"It was a big win to get us back on track," said Klesla. "These next three games we could win so we had to win this one to start off with."
Both teams came out firing from the start, but Leclaire and Legace made key stops to keep the opening period scoreless in spite of 16 combined shots and a half-dozen more opportunities. However, both the intensity and the scoring picked up in the middle 20 minutes.
St. Louis took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 1:18, as Guerin one-timed a Radek Dvorak pass from the slot past a frozen Leclaire. Columbus responded at 4:04 when Rick Nash finished off a broken play by scoring from the left of the crease off a blind backhanded pass from Vyborny. The Blues forged ahead, 2-1, at the 8:12 mark when Tkachuk tapped in a Barret Jackman feed, while taking a Klesla high-stick to the face.
Columbus then struck back with three unanswered goals to close out the second. Klesla picked up his first of the game when he exited the penalty box, chased down a Fritsche feed in the Blues zone, and stuck a wrister past Legace, tying the game at two. Fritsche gave the Jackets their first lead of the game on a one-time blast at 12:30 while shorthanded, and hit the net again less than three minutes later on a soft shot that trickled through Legace's pads.
"The shorthanded goal was huge," gushed Columbus head coach Gerard Gallant. "Sergei made a great play on the penalty kill and then makes a fabulous pass to Fritsche going to the net and it�s a great goal."
Following the four-goal blitz in the middle stanza, Legace was yanked in favor of Sanford, who held the league's second-worst offense off the board.
With their four goal performance, Columbus has vaulted over Philadelphia for least goals scored this year...The Blues have lost three straight and four-of- five to the Blue Jackets...Columbus defenseman Ron Hainsey played in his 100th career game...Both teams finished 1-of-5 with the man advantage.
11/10 00:10:53 ET