for this game

Fedorov, Blue Jackets end prolonged skid, beat Wild

Nov 26, 2006 - 2:50 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Sergei Fedorov and the Columbus Blue Jackets decided to take out their frustration on the Minnesota Wild.

Fedorov scored two goals, including the decisive tally, and added a pair of assists as the Blue Jackets posted a 5-3 victory over the Wild.

Anson Carter tallied the game's initial goal and added two assists for Columbus, which snapped a string of eight straight losses and avoided the longest losing streak in franchise history.

"The chemistry is good and the important thing is that everyone is playing the same way," Carter said. "It's funny what happens when everybody is on the same page and not off doing there own thing. That's one of the things Hitch (new coach Ken Hitchcock) has brought to the table. We are just able to play, myself, Z (Nikolai Zherdev) and Serg (Fedorov) and we had some success out there tonight."

The victory was the first as Blue Jackets coach for Hitchcock, who took over Wednesday. He suffered a 3-2 loss in his Columbus debut Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, the team that fired him earlier this season.

"For me, it's more about the way we played," Hitchcock said. "We have a good team. We have been playing well. We are starting to gain some confidence. I am pleasantly surprised how quickly the players bought in. You saw flashes of it (Friday in Philadelphia). Today reaffirmed what I saw on the tape. There are good pieces here to create a good hockey club. I like the way we play."

Fedorov and Columbus took control of the game after Minnesota's Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored a power-play goal 68 seconds into the third period to tie the game at 2-2.

Just over two minutes later, Zherdev gained control of the puck near the boards, skated behind the Wild net and fed Fedorov, who blasted a shot past goaltender Manny Fernandez to give the Blue Jackets the advantage.

"We clicked because our group speed was better and we played patient hockey," Fedorov said. "We shot the puck at the net and tried to get to the net, but mostly we skated harder on the forecheck."

"I thought we got back in the game and Manny was solid and I thought we had it going," said Wild left wing Pascal Dupuis who scored Minnesota's first goal 22 seconds after Carter tallied. "Just a couple of tough breaks here and there and that's the game. It was a tough game that's for sure."

Zherdev, who reached 100 career points with a goal and an assist, scored at the 5:44 mark of the final session to give Columbus a 4-2 lead before Fedorov's second goal - a power-play tally with just over five minutes left - put the game out of reach.

"Tonight we played a good team and everybody found their place in the system," Fedorov said. "It was an easy night to play. ... We got a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone and also in their zone. I think it gave us a chance to attack more and get them tired every shift."

Fredrik Norrena stopped 19 shots for his first career win.

"It feels great to get my first NHL win," Norrena said. "It's a team game, but I knew it was coming sooner or later. I am really glad to get the win for the team because it has been a long time."

Fellow rookie Niklas Backstrom started in net for Minnesota and allowed two goals on 10 shots before being pulled by coach Jacques Lemaire before the start of the second period.

"There wasn't anyone for us who was better than the other team," Lemaire said. "Nobody was going, nobody. There were mistakes that you just can't make."

Fernandez came on and stopped 19 shots for the Wild.

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