Blue Jackets
4 - 5 Final - OT
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Malhotra leads Blue Jackets in shootout win

Nov 4, 2006 - 3:52 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- The sluggish Columbus Blue Jackets' offense finally came up big.

Manny Malhotra scored the shootout-clinching goal and David Vyborny added two tallies as the Blue Jackets posted a 5-4 victory over the Calgary Flames.

After goaltender Pascal Leclaire stopped Chuck Kobasew's attempt, Malhotra scored the game-winning goal in the 11th round of the shootout. He beat Jamie McLennan with a wrist shot between the pads.

"The shootout is nerve-wracking and exciting for the fans," Malhotra said. "It's a pretty cool experience. It's kind of fun. I was just looking to get it on the net and was fortunate enough to put it five-hole."

Columbus entered having scored the fewest goals (22) in the league.

The shootout provided excellent drama as the teams traded goals in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds. Leclaire and McLennan were solid in turning away shot after shot.

"I think a lot of them knew I was going to try to poke-check," McLennan said. "So they were staying out and making their move out."

Sergei Fedorov, Duvie Westcott and Vyborny each scored in the first period to give the Blue Jackets a 3-1 lead. Calgary fought back with goals by Alex Tanguay and Dion Phaneuf in the third to take a 4-3 lead. Vyborny's second goal with 7:09 left tied the contest.

"We played hard from the second period on," Tanguay said. "That's probably why we got a point here tonight. It's disappointing. We're not in a situation where we can give away points, especially against a conference team."

"We got a couple of goals early," Leclaire said. "We let them come back. We stuck around, we didn't start running around too much. We were focused and confident we could come back. I had no doubt in my mind we were going to win the game.

"As long as you are in the game at the end, we have enough scorers and I think we always have a chance to tie it up and give us a good chance to win in overtime or a shootout. Overall, it was a good effort."

Leclaire stopped 28 shots for Columbus, which converted 4-of-9 power plays. McLennan recorded 33 saves.

"We've been in a real power-play drought as of late and everybody realizes that special teams in this league now with the 'new NHL' is going to be the key to victory," Malhotra said. "Getting our power play going was a huge bonus for us tonight."

Calgary has lost its last four games and fifth in a row on the road. This was the second-longest shootout this season. The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers played a 13-rounder on October 7.

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