for this game

Wilson, Blue Jackets cruise past listless Blackhawks

Mar 27, 2008 - 3:58 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- An unlikely hero helped the Columbus Blue Jackets give the Chicago Blackhawks a taste of their own medicine.

Defenseman Clay Wilson had a goal and an assist and Fredrik Norrena stopped 17 shots as the Blue Jackets dealt the Blackhawks' postseason hopes a major blow with a 4-0 victory on Wednesday.

Joakim Lindstrom, David Vyborny and Michael Peca also tallied for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a three-game skid.

With the win, Columbus (34-32-11) climbed within seven points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with five games remaining. But it needs to pass four teams in the standings in order to qualify for the postseason for the first time since joining the NHL in 2000-01.

"It was a big game," Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash said. "Every game is critical right now. We knew we didn't bring our best game (Tuesday) night in Nashville. Tonight was a great effort."

After setting up Lindstrom for a power-play goal at 4:49 of the second period, Wilson began a string of three straight tallies in the third. An American Hockey League All-Star, Wilson was playing in just his second NHL game after being recalled from Syracuse on Monday.

"He's coming out of the AHL with some confidence," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's very smart moving forward with the puck. He got himself in position on the one-timer, he created the angle. Our players were excited for him."

Norrena, who is starting in place of the injured Pascal Leclaire, barely had to work to record his second shutout of the season. He stopped four shots in the first period, six in the second and seven in the third en route to his fifth career blanking.

Columbus, which had been outscored, 13-5, in its previous two meetings with Chicago, turned the tables by outshooting the Blackhawks, 36-16, and breaking open the game in the third.

"The last two times they came in our building, they embarrassed us," Nash said. "A division team like that, you never like to see that happen. Tonight, we answered the bell. It was one of our best games in a while."

"They had just been crushing us the last two times they were here," Norrena added. "We didn't seem to have a chance. Those were the toughest two games I have played this year."

With Columbus already ahead, 1-0, Wilson scored his first career goal on a slap shot from the slot that beat goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin high to the glove side at 7:13 of the third.

"It's unbelievable," Wilson said. "I came up here not expecting too much and just trying to keep things simple. Z (Nikolai Zherdev) made a nice pass to me in the slot. Luckily, I closed my eyes and the puck went in."

Vyborny made it 3-0 just 1:26 later, and Peca capped the scoring with his sixth goal of the season at 11:57.

"The first four minutes, we played pretty good, came out pretty strong," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "Then we took some bad penalties, gave them momentum and never recovered."

Khabibulin stopped 32 shots for Chicago (36-33-8), which had its faint playoff hopes take a hit. The Blackhawks, who entered 3-1-1 in their previous five games, are six points back of the final playoff spot in the West.

"We still have to battle and stay positive," Chicago All-Star defenseman Duncan Keith said. "I don't know what else to say. We have to look forward to the next game and give it everything we've got. Obviously, it was tough to take. It was a big game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 1 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) JOAKIM LINDSTROM 3 (CLAY WILSON, JIRI NOVOTNY)
    4:49
    3RD PRD: COB - CLAY WILSON 1 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, MANNY MALHOTRA) 7:13
    COB - JIRI NOVOTNY 9 (DAVID VYBORNY) 8:39
    COB - MICHAEL PECA 6 (ROSTISL

    Mar 26 9:27 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 4
    3RD PRD: COB - MICHAEL PECA 6 (ROSTISLAV KLESLA, RICK NASH) 11:57

    Blackhawks 0, Blue Jackets 4  3rd - 8:03Mar 26 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 3
    3RD PRD: COB - JIRI NOVOTNY 9 (DAVID VYBORNY) 8:39

    Blackhawks 0, Blue Jackets 3  3rd - 11:21Mar 26 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    3RD PRD: COB - CLAY WILSON 1 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, MANNY MALHOTRA) 7:13

    Blackhawks 0, Blue Jackets 2  3rd - 12:47Mar 26 9:01 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Againigan Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks 0, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 17:45Mar 26 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) JOAKIM LINDSTROM 3 (CLAY WILSON) 4:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 4 6 10
    COB 12 11 23
    GOALIES: CHI - NIKOLAI KH

    Mar 26 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: COB - (PP) JOAKIM LINDSTROM 3 (CLAY WILSON) 4:49

    Blackhawks 0, Blue Jackets 1  2nd - 15:11Mar 26 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 0 0
    COLUMBUS 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 4 4
    COB 12 12
    GOALIES: CHI - NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN
    COB - FREDRIK NORRENA

    Mar 26 7:42 PM