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Leclaire records first career shutout

Oct 28, 2006 - 1:52 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Thanks to Pascal Leclaire, the Columbus Blue Jackets' four-game losing streak is over.

Leclaire made 38 saves for his first career shutout as the Blue Jackets posted a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Making his seventh start of the season, Leclaire was brilliant. The 24-year-old stopped 15 shots in each of the first two periods before turning aside eight more shots over the final 20 minutes.

"I haven't had a lot of shutouts in my life (at any level), but the most important thing tonight is that we won," Leclaire said. "We got out of penalty trouble. Our kill was awesome and we got some momentum out of that. We found a way to score two goals. It's not all me. The guys were right on it."

"Pascal stole it for us and he played awesome," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was a big win and we owe Pascal for that one. We needed the win. Whether it was an ugly win or not, we needed it. Pascal was outstanding tonight in the net. Hopefully ... a win like this will get us going."

Leclaire also was a major reason why the Blue Jackets killed eight power plays for the Kings.

"We had a couple of 5-on-3's and we had some shots and some rebounds," Kings defenseman Rob Blake said. "We hit a couple of posts down the stretch and we haven't been scoring at all this year. He was good. We can get some more shots through there."

Nikolai Zherdev scored on a breakaway with 34 seconds left in the first period, giving the Blue Jackets the lead.

Fredrik Modin provided an insurance tally by beating Kings goaltender Dan Cloutier off a give-and-go pass from David Vyborny at 8:15 of the third period.

"When we get a chance to play even strength and we get a chance to cycle the puck down low, those chances will come," Modin said. "The guy that gets it always looks to the middle. I was fortunate to be open and David (Vyborny) made a great pass to me. We can get those chances more, I think, if we manage to stay on the ice and play even strength."

Los Angeles could not find an answer for Leclaire despite outshooting Columbus, 38-14.

"That's just the way things are going for us," Kings center Sean Avery said. "I think we have outshot teams about 70 percent of our games this year and they are just not going in right now. We just have to keep playing the way we played tonight tomorrow night in Dallas and eventually something good is going to happen."






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