NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Columbus
(Saturday, November 25th)
Final Score: Columbus 5, Minnesota 3
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Sergei Fedorov scored two goals and added two assists to lead Columbus past Minnesota, 5-3, as the Blue Jackets gave new head coach Ken Hitchcock his first win with the club in his second game behind the bench.
Hitchcock, who was hired as the permanent replacement for the fired Gerard Gallant on Wednesday, made his coaching debut for Columbus on Friday in Philadelphia, but the Blue Jackets lost a 3-2 decision to the Flyers -- his former team.
"We have a real good team," Hitchcock said. "We are starting to gain some confidence. I am pleasantly surprised how quickly the players bought it. There are good pieces here to create a good hockey club."
Anson Carter had a goal and two assists while Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and a helper for the Blue Jackets, who ended an eight-game losing streak. Columbus netminder Fredrik Norrena made 19 saves to pick up his first-career win in the NHL.
"It feels great (to get my first win)," said Norrena. "It's a team game, but I knew it was coming sooner or later."
Niklas Backstrom allowed two goals on 11 shots for the Wild, who have dropped four of their last five games. Manny Fernandez replaced Backstrom in the second period and surrendered three goals the rest of the way. Pascal Dupuis, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Stephane Veilleux all scored for Minnesota.
A little over two minutes after the Wild tied the game, Zherdev dug a loose puck out of a scrum along the left boards and dished the puck into the left circle to Fedorov. The veteran Fedorov then fired the disc past Fernandez with traffic in front to put the Blue Jackets back on top at 3-2 in the final frame.
Zherdev then gave Columbus a two-goal lead, scoring his sixth goal of the season at the 5:54. Carter controlled the puck behind the Wild net and passed the disc out in front to Zherdev, who buried the feed over Fernandez's left shoulder.
A power-play goal at 14:46 of the third by Fedorov made it 5-2 and a tally by Veilleux pulled the Wild within two for the final margin.
Carter scored 3:24 into the contest to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. Fedorov moved the puck up to Carter, who split the defense as he entered the Minnesota zone and slipped a backhander through the legs of Backstrom.
The Wild responded just 22 seconds later as Dupuis answered at the other end with his sixth goal of the campaign.
Columbus jumped in front at 2-1 after Fredrik Modin tallied at 14:15 of the first. Fedorov centered the puck to a streaking Modin, who one-timed the feed past Backstrom.
Minnesota scored a power-play goal 1:08 into the third frame to even the score at 2-2. Bouchard grabbed a loose puck in front and tapped it into the net for his fifth goal of the season.
Zherdev now has 100 career points in the league...Columbus outshot Minnesota 33-22...Fedorov has five goals and seven assists on the season...The Wild went 2-for-4 on the power play while the Blue Jackets were 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
11/25 22:13:05 ET