for this game

Leclaire, Fritsche lead Blue Jackets past Thrashers

Dec 27, 2007 - 4:58 AM
By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) - No Rick Nash, no problem.

Pascal Leclaire stopped 21 shots and Dan Fritsche scored for the second time in as many games to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-0 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday.

Leclaire stopped eight shots in the first period, five in the second and eight in the third to record his league-leading seventh shutout of the season - and eighth of his career.

Leclaire and Fritsche helped Columbus get the upper hand in this one, despite the absence of its leading scorer. Nash, who sat out with a sore throat, leads the team with 18 goals but has gone a career-high seven straight games without a point.

Nash's absence, however, mattered little in this one as the Blue Jackets snapped the Thrashers' season-high four-game winning streak.

"Nash goes out and I thought the response we had from the other players was tremendous," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We expected one lineup and got a completely different one."

"It's a pretty quiet night," Leclaire said. "The guys played great in front of me, not a lot of scoring chances. It's a team win but the doughnut at the end is just a bonus."

Fritsche, who scored in a 3-1 loss to Nashville on Sunday, opened the scoring midway through the first period by snapping the Blue Jackets' power-play drought.

Fritsche took a pass from defenseman Ron Hainsey and blasted a slap shot from the left faceoff which beat goaltender Kari Lehtonen just inside the far post at 7:39 of the first session.

"I was coming in the zone with speed and Hainsey made a nice pass," Fritsche said. "I was just trying to get it on goal and it was nice to see it go in."

Fritsche's eighth goal of the season was Columbus' first power-play goal in its last 20 attempts.

The Blue Jackets extended the lead to 2-0 early in the second when Jared Boll scored his fourth goal. Boll scored after shots from Sergei Fedorov and Curtis Glencross were stopped by Lehtonen. The puck ended up on Boll's stick in the left slot and he beat Lehtonen at 3:04 of the second.

"Glenny made a great play and the puck just ended up on my stick," Boll said. "All I had to do was put it in an open net."

Lehtonen, who entered 6-2-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average since returning from a groin injury on December 1, stopped 28 shots.

"The first two periods, we were stuck in the mud," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said. "They were doing the things we talked about doing. They played the way we wanted to play. I thought we played better in the third (period), but is was a little too late at that point."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) DAN FRITSCHE 6 (RON HAINSEY, PASCAL LECLAIRE)
    7:39
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 4 (CURTIS GLENCROSS, SERGEI FEDOROV) 3:04
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: ATL - 0 OF 2, COB - 1 OF 4.
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 26 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) DAN FRITSCHE 6 (RON HAINSEY, PASCAL LECLAIRE)
    7:39
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 4 (CURTIS GLENCROSS, SERGEI FEDOROV) 3:04
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 8

    Dec 26 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: COB - JARED BOLL 4 (CURTIS GLENCROSS, SERGEI FEDOROV) 3:04

    Thrashers vs. Blue JacketsDec 26 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) DAN FRITSCHE 6 (RON HAINSEY, PASCAL LECLAIRE)
    7:39
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 8 8
    COB 14 14
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTO

    Dec 26 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) DAN FRITSCHE 6 (RON HAINSEY, PASCAL LECLAIRE) 7:39

    Thrashers vs. Blue JacketsDec 26 7:21 PM