for this game

Leclaire posts another shutout to lead Columbus over Phoenix

Oct 11, 2007 - 3:47 AM
By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- A trio of firsts and a hot goaltender were more than enough for the Columbus Blue Jackets to post another home win.

Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera scored their first goals of the season, Jared Boll tallied for the first time in his career and Pascal Leclaire made 32 saves as the Blue Jackets defeated the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-0, on Wednesday night.

With the win, Columbus has opened the season with consecutive victories at home for just the second time in franchise history. The first time was the start of the 2003-04 campaign, when it won its first three home games.

"The guys played well again tonight," Leclaire said. "I think they only had chances on the power play. (At) 5-on-5, we were pretty solid."

"The first period was excellent," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We were a little bit unlucky to be up only 1-0. We took the foot off the accelerator and they came hard at us like we knew they would, and then I thought we did a lot of good things in the third period."

Leclaire made seven saves in the first period, nine in the second and 16 in the final session for his second consecutive shutout of the season and third career. He made several spectacular saves, including a pad stop on defenseman Ed Jovanovski from point-blank range at 10:05 of the second period.

"When the goalie gets a shutout, it is really a team thing when you get one," Leclaire said.

"He's playing well, really well" Hitchcock said. "He's seeing the puck, he's stopping the puck. He's competitive and there are a lot of guys playing hard in front of him, so that's a good sign, too."

Malhotra opened the scoring at 10:45 of the opening session, when he received a centering pass from behind the net by Chimera and beat goaltender David Aebischer from low in the right faceoff circle.

"We were joking around this morning, Chimmer and I, being put back together for the first time in a long time," Malhotra said. "We really feed off each other's tendencies. It was a great pass and I was fortunate it went in."

It was Aebischer's first start of the season for Phoenix, which signed him as a free agent on July 19. The loss dropped him to 7-1-0 lifetime against Columbus.

"I felt pretty good out there" Aebischer said. "I felt motivated, but the end result was not what we were hoping for."

"It was frustrating in a sense that we didn't get a lot of chances," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "They deserved to win the hockey game. They played well."

The Blue Jackets extended the lead at 2:56 of the second period, when Chimera scored in a rather odd manner. Defenseman Jan Hejda took a shot from the top of the right circle and Aebischer made the save, but the rebound went off a charging Chimera's right shin and into the net for a 2-0 bulge.

"One of the best goals of my life," Chimera joked. "Further on in life, I'll say that was an end-to-ender."

It was the first point as a Blue Jacket for Hejda, who was signed as a free agent on July 5 after spending last season with Edmonton.

Boll capped the scoring 6:25 into the final session. After taking a feed from Malhotra, the 21-year-old skated toward the net from the left circle and beat Aebischer high to the stick side.

"It was an awesome feeling," Boll said. "I saw him drop, so I knew I had to get it up."

Wednesday also marked the Columbus debut of Michael Peca, who was signed as a free agent on August 23. It was the first action for the two-time Selke Trophy winner since being injured while with Toronto on December 22, 2006, as he missed all eight preseason games and the first two contests of the regular season with a strained groin and back spasms.

"It's great to be back," Peca said. "I think our depth came through. With Manny, Jason and Jared, what a great game they had for us. It was a real team effort. Pascal played real well and deserved the shutout."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 1 (JASON CHIMERA, JAN HEJDA) 10:45
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 1 (JAN HEJDA) 2:56
    3RD PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 1 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JASON CHIMERA) 6:25
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: PHO - 0 OF 6, COB - 0 OF

    Oct 10 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 1 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JASON CHIMERA) 6:25

    Coyotes vs. Blue JacketsOct 10 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 1 (JASON CHIMERA, JAN HEJDA) 10:45
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 1 (JAN HEJDA) 2:56
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 7 9 16
    COB 13

    Oct 10 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 1 (JAN HEJDA) 2:56

    Coyotes vs. Blue JacketsOct 10 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHOENIX 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 1 (JASON CHIMERA, JAN HEJDA) 10:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHO 7 7
    COB 13 13
    GOALIES: PHO - DAVID AEBISCHER
    C

    Oct 10 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    PHOENIX 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 1 (JASON CHIMERA, JAN HEJDA) 10:45

    Coyotes vs. Blue JacketsOct 10 7:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anil Added 5 roots

    Coyotes vs. Blue JacketsOct 10 5:41 AM