for this game

Blue Jackets snap seven-game home skid

Mar 9, 2008 - 11:00 PM
By Dave Holstein PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) - Nikolai Zherdev helped the Columbus Blue Jackets avoid setting a dubious record.

Zherdev had a goal and an assist to lead the Blue Jackets to a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.

The victory snapped a seven-game home losing streak for Columbus, which was seeing to avert tying a franchise record for the longest winless streak at Nationwide Arena.

"Right now, all it is, is relief," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You start to have doubt in your game ... but winning like tonight can relieve some of those problems."

David Vyborny, Derek MacKenzie and Michael Peca also scored goals for Columbus, which had registered just one tally in its last two games.

"We've been disappointed in the way we've played at home since the All-Star break," Peca said. "That's really been a backbreaker for us. The home games have been too relaxed, not intense enough. It's good to see us be a little more resilient tonight."

Zherdev's power-play tally with 3:44 remaining in the third period was the difference and Jiri Novotny added an empty-net goal to send the Lightning to their fifth consecutive loss.

"I thought our team played hard, defended well, and didn't give them many opportunities at all," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "We scored a couple of goals and played good enough to lose."

The Lightning had erased a two-goal deficit late in the middle session and All-Stars Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier scored 62 seconds apart to forge a 3-3 tie.

"We played great in the second period," Hitchcock said. "And then, all of the sudden, in a two-minute span, bang-bang, the game is tied up and then the track meet was on in the third."

It stayed tied until Zherdev blasted a slap short from the left faceoff dot that trickled past goaltender Mike Smith.

"To come back and win in the third is the best feeling for us right now," Hitchcock said.

Columbus snapped an 0-for-34 scoreless streak with the man advantage and ended the Lightning's string of 19 straight penalties killed.

Vyborny scored his sixth goal of the year at 11:29 to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. His wrist shot from along the left goal line went off Smith and into the net just inside the near post.

"I just tried to get it on net and it went off the goalie and in," Vyborny said. "It was a big goal. We always play better when we get that first goal."

Tampa Bay responded just under three minutes later when center Jeff Halpern took a pass from former Blue Jacket Mathieu Darche from behind the net and beat goaltender Pascal Leclaire with a wrister from the right slot at 14:14.

The Blue Jackets reclaimed the lead when center MacKenzie scored his first career NHL goal at 19:18 of the first.

From behind the net, Smith attempted to clear the puck but it went to Columbus center Dan Fritsche, who attempted a wrap-around. Columbus center Gilbert Brule got a stick on the puck, but MacKenzie swooped in and put the puck into an open net.

"It was nice to finally get that one," MacKenzie said. "Especially to get it when we we're hunting for a playoff spot, it makes it that much more special."

The Blue Jackets extended the lead midway through the second period. Peca scored on a wrist shot from between the faceoff circles that beat Smith high to the stick side at 11:29.

"It was a great pass from Z (Zherdev,)" Peca said. "There was a little traffic in front and I was able to put it on net and in."

Tampa Bay tied the game with two goals just over a minute apart late in the second.

St. Louis scored on a one-timer from the right face off circle at 16:35, ending a 10-game goalless streak. Leclaire's clearing pass was tipped off the wall by Halpern and caromed to St Louis, who blasted the shot that beat Leclaire high on the glove side just inside the upper left corner of the goal.

Just 1:02 later, Lecavalier was hooked by defenseman Jan Hejda on a breakaway. That led to a penalty shot for Lecavalier, who beat Leclaire though the pads with a backhand tying the game at 3-3.

"We did a great job not giving space to those guys," Leclaire said. "They did get a couple of goals but we limited their chances pretty good."

For Lecavalier, it was the second time he has scored in three penalty attempts and snapped a 12-game goalless streak.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 0 3
    COLUMBUS 2 1 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - DAVID VYBORNY 6 (RICK NASH, KRIS RUSSELL) 11:29
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 13 (MATHIEU DARCHE, MICHEL OUELLET) 14:14
    COB - DEREK MACKENZIE 1 (GILBERT BRULE, DAN FRITSCHE) 19:18
    2ND PRD: COB - MICHAEL PECA 5 (NIKOLAI ZHE

    Mar 9 5:32 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    COLUMBUS 5
    3RD PRD: COB - (EN) JIRI NOVOTNY 8 (MANNY MALHOTRA, RICK NASH) 19:00

    Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 5  3rd - 1:00Mar 9 5:31 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    COLUMBUS 4
    3RD PRD: COB - (PP) NIKOLAI ZHERDEV 25 (DICK TARNSTROM, RON HAINSEY)
    16:16

    Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 4  3rd - 3:44Mar 9 5:26 PM
  • 16
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    RUWTbot Took away 61 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 4  3rd - 3:44Mar 9 5:26 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 4:08Mar 9 5:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 3
    COLUMBUS 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - DAVID VYBORNY 6 (RICK NASH, KRIS RUSSELL) 11:29
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 13 (MATHIEU DARCHE, MICHEL OUELLET) 14:14
    COB - DEREK MACKENZIE 1 (GILBERT BRULE, DAN FRITSCHE) 19:18
    2ND PRD: COB - MICHAEL PECA 5

    Mar 9 4:40 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 3
    COLUMBUS 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PS) VINCENT LECAVALIER 33 17:37

    Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 3  2nd - 2:23Mar 9 4:37 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 2
    COLUMBUS 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - (PS) VINCENT LECAVALIER 33 17:27

    Lightning 2, Blue Jackets 3  2nd - 2:33Mar 9 4:35 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    COLUMBUS 3
    2ND PRD: COB - MICHAEL PECA 5 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 11:29

    Lightning 1, Blue Jackets 3  2nd - 8:31Mar 9 4:23 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    COLUMBUS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - DAVID VYBORNY 6 (RICK NASH, KRIS RUSSELL) 11:29
    TAM - JEFF HALPERN 13 (MATHIEU DARCHE, MICHEL OUELLET) 14:14
    COB - DEREK MACKENZIE 1 (GILBERT BRULE, DAN FRITSCHE) 19:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2N

    Mar 9 3:47 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    COLUMBUS 2
    1ST PRD: COB - DEREK MACKENZIE 1 (GILBERT BRULE, DAN FRITSCHE) 19:18

    Lightning 1, Blue Jackets 2  1st - 0:42Mar 9 3:47 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 13 (MATHIEU DARCHE, MICHEL OUELLET) 14:14

    Lightning 1, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 5:46Mar 9 3:37 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - DAVID VYBORNY 6 (RICK NASH, KRIS RUSSELL) 11:29

    Lightning 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 8:31Mar 9 3:30 PM
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    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. Blue JacketsMar 5 8:48 AM