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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, March 24th (All times eastern)

Minnesota Wild (25-27-20-3) at Columbus Blue Jackets (21-42-8-4), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The expansion class of 2000 meets up tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the Minnesota Wild to Nationwide Arena.

On Sunday, rookie Nikolai Zherdev scored a pair of goals and assisted on another during a three-goal third period, as the Blue Jackets rallied from a two-goal deficit to post an improbable 5-4 victory over the playoff-bound Vancouver Canucks.

Zherdev finished with two goals and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who snapped an eight-game losing streak. Columbus, coming off a 2-0 loss at Calgary on Thursday, hadn't won since March 2 at Carolina.

Todd Marchant chipped in the tying goal in the third and an assist, while Rick Nash and Brian Holzinger also scored. Marc Denis finished with 27 saves in the victory.

Nash tallied his 38th goal of the season, which ties him for second in the National Hockey League with Calgary's Jarome Iginla. Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk leads the league with 39 tallies.

Columbus will host Anaheim on Friday.

Minnesota, meanwhile, has lost two straight, including Monday's 3-2 overtime setback to visiting Phoenix. Mike Comrie scored with 24.2 seconds left in OT to lift the Coyotes, who won for the first time in 16 games.

Marc Chouinard notched a goal and an assist for the Wild, who fell for just the second time in nine games (4-1-3-1). Nick Schultz also scored and Manny Fernandez made 25 saves.

Minnesota, which will miss the playoffs after last year's surprising postseason run, had the first five shots of the extra period, but could not beat opposing goaltender Brent Johnson, who finished with 27 saves.

The Wild, who fell to 0-3-20 in overtime this season, will visit Chicago on Thursday.

Minny is 2-1 against Columbus this season, but is 0-3-1 in its last four trips to Nationwide Arena.

03/24 10:11:15 ET

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