for this game

Blue Jackets edge Coyotes for Richards' first win

Jan 14, 2012 - 5:09 AM
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Derick Brassard scored the eventual game- winning goal late in the second period and added an assist as the Columbus Blue Jackets downed the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, at Nationwide Arena.

Tomas Kubalik, Rick Nash and Ryan Russell all found the back of the net for the Blue Jackets, who halted a two-game losing streak. Curtis Sanford made 32 saves in the victory.

Interim head coach Todd Richards secured his first win behind the bench for Columbus, which won despite playing without center Jeff Carter, who was placed on injured reserve on Friday with a separated shoulder, and forward R.J. Umberger, who is out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms.

"We did a lot of good things tonight," Richards said. "I was really happy with the way the guys competed in the third period. The guys dug in and found a way to win a game."

Radim Vrbata, Lauri Korpikoski and Adrian Aucoin all scored for the Coyotes, who have lost three straight. Jason LaBarbara was touched for all four tallies on 32 shots in defeat.

Trailing 3-1 midway through the second period, Phoenix cut the deficit to 3-2 at the 8:48 mark of the period when Vrbata fired a shot from a sharp angle to the right of the net that hit Korpikoski in the skate and redirected into the net to give the Coyotes some life.

But Columbus answered to make it 4-2 at 18:36 of the second period with some excellent puck movement in the offensive zone. Brassard got a pass from Fedor Tyutin below the goal line to the right of the net, rotated out to the slot and fired a quick wrister that beat LaBarbara low to the blocker side.

The Coyotes again cut to a one-goal game at 11:12 of the final period when Vrbata broke in on a breakaway and buried it in behind Sanford.

Phoenix pulled LaBarbara with 51 seconds remaining in regulation, but was unable to come up with the tying goal.

"We got off to a good start, but made a couple of poor reads to give up the lead early," Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said. "We chased the game the rest of the way."

Phoenix wasted no time taking the lead, lighting the lamp just 1:49 into the game when Aucoin blasted one from the point that got through traffic in front and past Sanford for the 1-0 lead.

Columbus came right back to tie the game at 5:32 on Kubalik's first goal of the season.

The Jackets took a 2-1 lead when Nash picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone, moved to the slot and wristed it past a screened LaBarbara at 7:09 of the opening period.

Just 1:52 into the second period, Russell made it 3-1 when he chased down a loose puck behind the net following a shot by Samuel Pahlsson, then stuffed home a wrap-around attempt to the right of the net.

Game Notes

Phoenix still leads the all-time series between the teams, 23-14-4...Both teams went 0-for-1 with the man advantage...Columbus will continue a four-game homestand on Saturday against the San Jose Sharks, while Phoenix will head home to face the Colorado Avalanche on Monday.