NHL Game Summary - Columbus at Phoenix
(Thursday, February 7th)
Final Score: Columbus 2, Phoenix 1
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Fredrik Norrena made 26 saves, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
Jason Chimera and Nikolai Zherdev lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a four-game winless streak (0-3-1).
Goaltender Pascal Leclaire, who suffered a bruised neck during the second period of Tuesday's 4-3 overtime loss to Washington, did not travel with the team. The club recalled netminder Steve Mason from Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League to serve as the backup.
Michael York scored for the Coyotes, who have dropped two straight and four of five overall. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed two goals on 33 shots in defeat.
Columbus' seventh short-handed goal on the season opened the scoring at 5:20 of the first. Chimera used his speed to fly down the left wing, move in on Bryzgalov and slide the puck through the five-hole.
At 6:09, Phoenix's Craig Weller was assessed a minor penalty for boarding and a five-minute match penalty for intent to injury and ejected from the game. Rick Nash was on the receiving end of the boarding call and defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen attempted to stick up for his teammate, but got sucker punched by Weller, which warranted the match penalty. Tollefsen retreated to the locker room with a concussion. He did not return and is out indefinitely, according to Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock.
During the ensuing power play, Keith Ballard was called for kneeing, creating a two-man advantage for the Blue Jackets. Columbus cashed in when Zherdev buried a rebound into an empty net at the 9:09 mark.
While up a man, York took a feed from Steven Reinprecht and roofed the puck over a sprawled Norrena to trim the deficit in half with 7:04 remaining in the second.
Columbus' Jared Boll was called for holding with 1:32 left in regulation, and Phoenix pulled Bryzgalov to make it a 6-on-4 advantage. The Coyotes peppered the goaltender, but couldn't net the equalizer. Norrena made a spectacular save with the blocker in the dying seconds to secure the win.
Phoenix had won six of its last eight at home entering play...Phoenix's Peter Mueller, the NHL rookie of the month for January, has four goals and two assists in his last four games...Columbus won the season series, taking three of the four games...Phoenix right winger Radim Vrbata returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game against Calgary with an ankle sprain...On Thursday, Phoenix had assistant coach Rick Tocchet back on the bench, as he rejoined the Coyotes staff after a two-year absence for his involvement in an illegal gambling ring. Tocchet's two-year hiatus came following accusations that he was involved in a massive betting ring based in southern New Jersey. He later pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and promoting gambling, both in the third degree.
02/08 00:48:31 ET