NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Columbus
(Friday, December 22nd)
Final Score: Columbus 3, Vancouver 2
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Anson Carter came back to haunt his former club, posting a goal and an assist as Columbus held on to beat Vancouver, 3-2, at Nationwide Arena.
Aaron Johnson and Rick Nash also scored, while Ron Hainsey finished with two helpers for the Blue Jackets, who have won two of three and broke a four-game skid against Vancouver.
"No one wants to spend Christmas Eve after a loss," said Carter. "We had a great effort tonight and showed a lot of poise and composure."
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire stopped all 10 shots he faced before leaving the game early in the second period after re-aggravating a lower-body injury. Fredrik Norrena came in to replace Leclaire and gave up a goal to Kevin Bieksa on the first shot he faced before finishing strong with 21 saves.
Daniel Sedin also tallied for the Canucks, who have dropped three straight after winning three in a row. Netminder Roberto Luongo stopped 19 shots.
"We tried to battle back in the second, but it is hard to come back in this league," said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. "It is one thing to say that you want to be in the playoffs, but we need to step it up."
Columbus drew first blood 6:36 into the opening period as Johnson's shot from the left point beat a screened Luongo, giving Johnson his first goal of the year.
"It's been a while," said Johnson. "It's funny to finally get that big goal. I was kind of snake-bitten there for a bit."
The Blue Jackets struck again with 8:09 left in the first. Alexander Svitov redirected Hainsey's shot from the point into the slot for Carter, who stuffed the puck home to make it 2-0.
Vancouver managed to cut its deficit in half just 2:47 into the second period as Bieksa's one-timer from the high slot beat Norrena top shelf for the power- play tally.
Then, with the man-advantage early in the third period, Sedin had a golden opportunity to tie the game with the puck on the doorstep and Norrena out-of- position.
However, Norrena dove across goal crease and made a diving save on Sedin and Columbus was able to rebuild its two-goal advantage later in the period.
Nash collected the puck in the Blue Jackets' zone, broke free for a 2-on-1 break and then slipped the puck through Luongo's legs to make it 3-1 with 5:21 left to play.
The Canucks, though, didn't go down quietly. With Luongo pulled for the extra attacker, Sedin atoned for his earlier miss by redirecting Mattias Ohlund's shot from the point past Norrena with 1:15 left to play.
Vancouver kept the pressure on as time expired, but Norrena and Columbus held on for the win.
"There was a lot of ebb and flow to this game," said Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock. "I told the players at the start that Vancouver is a real physical club. You have to earn it and there is a lot of board battles and they're very physical. There's a real price to pay to beat the Vancouver Canucks."
It was the Blue Jackets' 100th win at home...Henrik Sedin finished with two assists for Vancouver...Columbus went 1-for-6 on the power play, while the Canucks went 1-for-5.
12/22 22:40:19 ET