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Chimera, Zherdev help Blue Jackets end slide

Feb 8, 2008 - 6:26 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Jason Chimera and Nikolai Zherdev scored less than four minutes apart in the first period and the Columbus Blue Jackets hung on to record a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday in associate coach Rick Tocchet's return to the bench following a two-year suspension.

Playing in place of the injured Pascal Leclaire, Fredrik Norrena made 26 saves to help snap Columbus' four-game losing streak.

"It was really good for him to play the way he did," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He really helped us to get two points."

Mike York scored the lone goal for Phoenix, which lost at home for just the third time in nine games.

Chimera opened the scoring 5:20 into the game with a shorthanded tally.

Defenseman Jan Hejda gained control of the puck along the boards and fired it to Manny Malhotra, who tipped it ahead to Chimera. The 28-year-old skated in and wristed the puck between goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's pads for his 10th goal of the season.

"It was kind of sloppy," Chimera said. "The ice wasn't very good out there and (the puck) was bouncing everywhere, so it was tough getting momentum."

Zherdev doubled the advantage at 9:09 during a power play. After defenseman Ron Hainsey's shot from the top of the left faceoff circle was denied by Bryzgalov, Zherdev pounced on the rebound and fired it into the net for his 22nd goal.

The goal came 11 seconds after defenseman Keith Ballard was whistled for kneeing, and just under three minutes after Craig Weller received a five-minute boarding major and a match penalty.

Columbus' Ole-Kristian Tollefsen skated after Weller following his hit on All-Star Rick Nash but was dropped by the 6-4, 220-pounder with one punch. Tollefsen left the game with a head injury and did not return.

"It was a situation where I laid a pretty hard hit on Nash there," Weller said. "I was side-to-side with him, and I kind of put him in and he was kind of turning. I knew that there was going to be someone coming. I kind of went to protect myself there. I don't want to hurt anybody out there. We both definitely looked at each other and knew it was going to happen."

"He definitely popped the kid," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "I don't think the kid was going up to him to get his autograph."

York halved the deficit with 7:04 remaining in the middle period.

With Phoenix on the power play, York received a beautiful feed from Steven Reinprecht at the side of the net, deked Norrena to the ice and wristed the puck over the netminder for his sixth goal of the campaign.

That was the only one allowed by Norrena, who helped thwart a late power play to preserve the victory.

"I noticed that we were really strong in front of our net," Norrena said. "Any loose puck, there was always a guy there, so it was easier for me to come up with the saves."

Bryzgalov finished with 31 saves for the Coyotes.

Tocchet had been on an indefinite leave of absence since February 2006, when it was revealed he partnered with a New Jersey state trooper and another man in a sports betting venture they ran for five years.

He was sentenced by a New Jersey court to two years' probation in August.

Gretzky did not mince words about how he felt having Tocchet back behind the bench.

"It was great," Gretzky said. "I know he was a little bit nervous. Look, he went through a lot. It's done and over with, and now we'll move forward from it. He got penalized by the NHL for what he did, but he's back and we're moving on."

"It's huge for our team," Coyotes captain Shane Doan added. "He adds so much. He's just a character guy for us. He adds so much behind the bench, and everyone relies on him."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 0 0 2
    PHOENIX 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (SH) JASON CHIMERA 10 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JAN HEJDA) 5:20
    COB - (PP) NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 22 (RON HAINSEY, JIRI NOVOTNY)
    9:09
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) MIKE YORK 6 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, PETER MUELLER)
    12:56
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWE

    Feb 7 11:34 PM
  • 22
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jackets vs. CoyotesFeb 7 11:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 0 2
    PHOENIX 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (SH) JASON CHIMERA 10 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JAN HEJDA) 5:20
    COB - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 22 (RON HAINSEY, JIRI NOVOTNY) 9:09
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) MIKE YORK 6 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, PETER MUELLER)
    12:56
    SHOTS ON GO

    Feb 7 10:39 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    PHOENIX 1
    2ND PRD: PHO - (PP) MIKE YORK 6 (STEVEN REINPRECHT, PETER MUELLER)
    12:56

    Blue Jackets vs. CoyotesFeb 7 10:26 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 2
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (SH) JASON CHIMERA 10 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JAN HEJDA) 5:20
    COB - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 22 (RON HAINSEY, JIRI NOVOTNY) 9:09
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 12

    Feb 7 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    PHOENIX 0
    1ST PRD: COB - NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 22 (RON HAINSEY, JIRI NOVOTNY) 9:09

    Blue Jackets vs. CoyotesFeb 7 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    PHOENIX 0
    1ST PRD: COB - (SH) JASON CHIMERA 10 (MANNY MALHOTRA, JAN HEJDA) 5:20

    Blue Jackets vs. CoyotesFeb 7 9:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    UltimateSensfan Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. CoyotesFeb 7 12:29 PM