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LeClaire posts fourth shutout as Blue Jackets defeat Blues

Oct 26, 2007 - 3:57 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Pascal Leclaire is making a habit of stonewalling the opposition.

Leclaire stopped all 36 shots he faced as the Columbus Blue Jackets shut out the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, on Thursday.

Jared Boll and Rick Nash scored second-period goals before Jiri Novotny was awarded an empty-net tally late in the third for Columbus, which snapped a two-game home losing streak.

The 24-year-old Leclaire, who is 4-2-0 this season, has won all of his games via the shutout.

"I keep repeating it, but (the shutouts) are not important to me," Leclaire said. "The important thing is getting the win. I would have been happy if we won 5-4. We want to have a good start this year, and the win column is the most important thing."

The goaltender, who leads the NHL in blankings, has five for his career and is one short of the franchise single-season record set by Marc Denis in 2002-03. Denis matched his own mark with five blankings the following season.

"I'm not sure about his four shutouts this early in the season," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You dream about that. He is very focused right now."

Leclaire turned aside 14 shots in the first period but was matched by counterpart Hannu Toivonen, who stopped nine in the session.

However, the Blue Jackets broke through in the middle period.

After a turnover, Jiri Novotny found Boll, whose slap shot from the right faceoff circle beat Toivonen high to the stick side with 6 1/2 minutes left to give Columbus a 1-0 lead.

"We had a couple of good shifts there in the second," Boll said. "I just happened to get the goal. The puck started to squirt off my stick, so I just tried to get it off as quick as I could."

Later in the session, with the Blue Jackets on the power play, defenseman Ron Hainsey fired a shot from the point that bounced off the end boards to Nash, who was hovering to the right of the net. Nash, who entered the game tied for third in the league with seven goals, handled the puck between his legs before slapping it past Toivonen to double the advantage with 2:08 remaining.

"I don't know (how I scored), it happened so fast," Nash said. "I was just trying to think of the quickest way I could get the puck up into the net. The position that I was in, that was the easiest way to do it."

"I have not seen it," Hitchcock said of Nash's goal. "All I know is it was a power-play goal."

Nash has six tallies during his five-game goal-scoring streak.

"I saw it go in," Toivonen said. "I should have got my body up there instead of reaching. He is a great player and it was a big goal for them."

"Nash is top shelf," Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. "It's hard to stop a guy that big with that size and those hands."

Novotny scored with 2:22 left in the final period when he was hooked by defenseman Eric Brewer as he was heading for an empty net on a breakaway.

"I think we are off to a good start," Nash said. "And I think we can be even better. Things are good. We just don't want to look ahead of ourselves."

The offensive support was more than enough for Leclaire, who made 10 saves in the second session and 12 in the third to wrap up the shutout.

"Pascal's been doing something special for us," Blue Jackets center Michael Peca said. "All you need in this league is a goalie to make big saves at big times. He has come up numerous times to make those saves."

Toivonen finished with 25 saves for Blues, who were blanked for the first time this season.

"I think the first 30 minutes, we had a lot of chances," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "Then the last 30 minutes, I don't think we had many opportunities. Their goalie played well and our goalie played well. This game is not always about what you get but what you give up, and we just gave up too much tonight."

"We had some chances," Toivonen said. "I think we can beat these guys if we play as well as we can and do the right things. Tonight, things just didn't go our way."






  • 15
    roots
    anorexicivan Added 5 roots

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 25 9:51 PM
  • 10
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    jemurray Added 5 roots

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 25 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 2 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 13:30
    COB - (PP) RICK NASH 8 (RON HAINSEY, DAVID VYBORNY) 17:52
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) JIRI NOVOTNY 4 (RICK NASH) 17:38
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: STL - 0 OF 2, COB - 1 OF 3.


    Oct 25 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) JIRI NOVOTNY 4 (RICK NASH) 17:38

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 25 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 2 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 13:30
    COB - (PP) RICK NASH 8 (RON HAINSEY, DAVID VYBORNY) 17:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 14 10 24
    CO

    Oct 25 8:30 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) RICK NASH 8 (RON HAINSEY, DAVID VYBORNY) 17:52

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 25 8:28 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 2 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 13:30

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 25 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 14 14
    COB 9 9
    GOALIES: STL - HANNU TOIVONEN
    COB - PASCAL LECLAIRE

    Oct 25 7:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    DaSaintFan Added 5 roots

    Blues vs. Blue JacketsOct 20 12:34 PM