for this game

Malhotra, Norrena help Blue Jackets blank Flames

Mar 19, 2008 - 3:38 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Manny Malhotra certainly has found his scoring touch.

The 27-year-old recorded his second consecutive two-goal game by scoring 70 seconds apart in the third period and Fredrik Norrena stopped all 18 shots he faced as the Columbus Blue Jackets skated to a 3-0 triumph over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.

All-Star Rick Nash netted a goal and set up two others and Dan Fritsche had two assists for Columbus (33-29-11), which climbed within seven points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"We played a very complete game all around," Malhotra said. "We always stressed throughout the year that the offense is going to come from sound defense. That's exactly the case tonight."

"It was a good night," Nash said. "The guys stuck to the game plan, we played defensive first. It just shows what we are capable of when we play the right way. These are our playoffs right now. If we want to have a sniff of (the postseason), we need to be playing our best right now."

The victory extended the Blue Jackets' franchise record for points (77) in a season, while the defeat kept the Flames (37-26-10) locked in a three-way tie with the Vancouver Canucks (37-26-10) and Colorado Avalanche (39-29-6) for second place in the ultra-competitive Northwest Division, two points behind the idle Minnesota Wild (39-26-8).

Vancouver and Colorado also were not in action Tuesday.

"There is no excuse for the way we played," said Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, whose team went 1-3-0 on its four-game trek. "It's the last push and teams are raising their game. We didn't respond on this road trip."

Nash opened the scoring just 3:26 into the first period, accepting an outlet pass from Fritsche and wristing a shot that trickled past goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff for his 37th goal of the season.

Malhotra, who had two tallies and an assist in Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, gave Columbus a two-goal advantage just 5:39 into the third period.

The seventh overall pick of the 1998 draft by the New York Rangers, Malhotra completed a pretty tic-tac-toe play by one-timing his shot from the slot past Kiprusoff.

Seventy seconds later, Malhotra gave Columbus a three-goal cushion with his 10th of the season.

"I think it's just the result of being in the right place at the right time, on both those goals," Malhotra said. "Rick made an incredible pass, he had a lot of patience waiting for that lane to open up. And the same with (Fritsche). He made a great pass off the side of the net, and I guess I was rewarded for being where I was supposed to."

That was more than enough offense for Norrena, who was playing his second consecutive contest as Pascal Leclaire is sidelined with a head injury suffered during Sunday's pregame warmups.

Norrena stopped four shots in the first period, six in the second and eight in the third for his first shutout of the season and fourth career.

"You always have to be lucky if you want to have a shutout in this league," Norrena said. "Today, the posts helped me and the team helped me. ... Tonight, we controlled the game and we deserved to win."

"(Norrena) was really sound," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "The thing that was impressive for me was the no rebounds."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 0 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 37 (DAN FRITSCHE, ROSTISLAV KLESLA) 3:26
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 9 (RICK NASH, JAN HEJDA) 5:39
    COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 10 (DAN FRITSCHE, RICK NASH) 6:50
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: CGY - 0

    Mar 18 9:37 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 10 (DAN FRITSCHE, RICK NASH) 6:50

    Flames 0, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 13:10Mar 18 9:08 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 9 (RICK NASH, JAN HEJDA) 5:39

    Flames 0, Blue Jackets 2  3rd - 14:21Mar 18 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 37 (DAN FRITSCHE, ROSTISLAV KLESLA) 3:26
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 4 6 10
    COB 7 17 24
    GOALIES: CGY - MI

    Mar 18 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 0 0
    COLUMBUS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 37 (DAN FRITSCHE, ROSTISLAV KLESLA) 3:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 4 4
    COB 7 7
    GOALIES: CGY - MIIKKA KIPRUSOFF

    Mar 18 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 37 (DAN FRITSCHE, ROSTISLAV KLESLA) 3:26

    Flames 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 16:34Mar 18 7:16 PM