Sharks
Blue Jackets
2 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Backman helps Blue Jackets halt slide

Feb 8, 2009 - 7:30 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Christian Backman made the most of his rare opportunity.

The sparingly used defenseman scored 93 seconds into overtime, lifting the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Jason Williams and captain Rick Nash also tallied for the Blue Jackets, who halted a three-game losing streak.

"I think we showed great character tonight," Backman said. "We worked hard, and it was really important to bounce back after a couple of losses."

Making his first NHL start, Dan LaCosta turned aside 28 shots for Columbus, which nearly squandered a two-goal lead.

"It's definitely the highlight of my season, and probably the highlight of my career," LaCosta said. "Just the way things happened tonight, the drama at the end. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome."

"LaCosta was solid and very focused," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's what we needed. We needed a solid performance. He's a big guy and he's got good mobility. When he's aggressive and focused like he is right now, that's a real good sign for us."

Blue-liner Christian Ehrhoff recorded a goal and an assist and Devin Setoguchi also scored for the Sharks, who have dropped three in a row (0-2-1) for the first time this season.

"Yes, we have lost three in a row," San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. "This is new territory for us, but I'm proud of the way the guys have played and battled back in some games, so I think we'll be all right."

With fellow defensemen Marc Methot (flu) and Mike Commodore (food poisoning) out of the lineup, Backman received the chance to play in his second straight game after being a healthy scratch for the previous four and six of eight.

"It's never fun to sit out games. You want to be in there and you want to contribute," Backman said. "These last two games, I have had a little more ice time and felt pretty good."

The 28-year-old Swede did not disappoint coach Ken Hitchcock, burying a loose puck in the crease after goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made the initial save on R.J. Umberger's shot from the slot.

"We got the 2-on-1 with me and R.J. I just gave him the puck and went to the net," Backman said. "He took a great shot, and all of a sudden, the puck was laying right behind the goalie. I was thinking, 'I can't miss that.' It was a great feeling."

"I was so happy for Backman," Hitchcock said. "He's played two real good games here. To play the way he did and then get the winning goal, I was real happy for him."

Backman's winning goal came just after LaCosta made a big save on Setoguchi at the other end of the rink. The 22-year-old netminder, who was a third-round pick in 2004, had made just two previous appearances in the NHL - both in relief.

"He looked really good out there, and we had a lot of confidence in him," Nash said. "He was great. Against San Jose, his first game, it can't be any better."

LaCosta could receive more opportunities, as the Blue Jackets placed fellow rookie netminder Steve Mason on injured reserve after the game due to a bout with mononucleosis.

"If I got sent down (to the minors) tomorrow, I would know that I left it all out there and did everything I could to stay," LaCosta said. "That was my goal. I understand the situation that's going on here now. If I stay, that's great, I'll do the best I can. Whatever happens, happens."

Entering with two straight losses at home, Columbus took an early lead in this one as Williams beat Nabokov high to the glove side with a wrist shot from low in the right faceoff circle at 1:46 of the first period.

Nash doubled the advantage at 9:33, receiving a pass at the blue line from Kristian Huselius and sliding the puck under Nabokov during a breakaway for his 23rd goal of the season.

"A great pass from Kristian there, and all I had to do was finish it," Nash said. "I was able to get it past (Nabokov) before he went down."

The All-Star's goal gave Columbus two tallies on as many shots in the game.

"You could not ask for a better start," Nash said. "It's just too bad we couldn't hold on to the lead at the end."

Huselius' assist on the play was the 200th of his career.

Setoguchi began San Jose's comeback early in the second, firing a wrister from the high slot into the top left corner of the net just 54 seconds into the session.

"It was just a wrister from between the dots that I think caught their goalie by surprise a little bit," Setoguchi said. "It was a great play by Christian and Joe (Thornton) to set it up."

With 3:58 remaining in the third, Ehrhoff unleashed a rising slap shot from the left point that got past LaCosta, knotting the game at 2-2 and keeping alive the Sharks' hopes of extending their road winning streak to four.

"We had a good faceoff and won the puck there," Ehrhoff said. "We got the puck high in the middle and Nash went there, and I got the puck. Cheech (Jonathan Cheechoo) did a good job (setting a screen) and I don't think the goalie saw it, and it got by him."

"It's part of being a goaltender," LaCosta said of being victimized for a late goal. "You have to put those goals behind you and keep playing. Honestly, I didn't see the second one go in, so I just forgot about it and moved on."

Nabokov made 17 saves for San Jose, which fell to 4-6-1 when trailing after two periods despite forcing overtime.

"Give our guys credit. I thought we fought back and I thought we controlled most of the game," McLellan said. "We had them on their heels. ... To fight back the way we did against a really good team, we're happy to do that. But we'd like to, obviously, come away with a win."






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    Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 3  Final - OTFeb 8 4:48 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 0 2
    COLUMBUS 2 0 0 1 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 10 (UNASSISTED) 1:46
    COB - RICK NASH 23 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    9:33
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) DEVIN SETOGUCHI 22 (CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF, JOE
    THOR

    Feb 7 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 2
    COLUMBUS 3
    OT: COB - CHRISTIAN BACKMAN 2 (R.J. UMBERGER, JAN HEJDA) 1:33

    Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 3  End of OTFeb 7 9:37 PM
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    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 2
    COLUMBUS 2 0 0 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 10 (UNASSISTED) 1:46
    COB - RICK NASH 23 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, ROSTISLAV KLESLA)
    9:33
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) DEVIN SETOGUCHI 22 (CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF, JOE
    THORNTON) 0:54
    3RD PRD: SAN - CHR

    Feb 7 9:31 PM
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    SAN JOSE 2
    COLUMBUS 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF 6 (DAN BOYLE, MIKE GRIER) 16:02

    Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 2  3rd - 3:58Feb 7 9:26 PM
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  • ------------------------------
    San Jose
    0 1 --1
    Columbus 2 0 --2
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    San Jose 8 9 --17
    Columbus 3 6 --9
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : San Jose, Evgeni Nabokov (9 shots, 7 saves). Columbus, Dan
    LaCosta (17 shots, 16 saves). Referees: Dean Morton, K

    Feb 7 8:38 PM
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    Sharks 1, Blue Jackets 2  2nd - 7:30Feb 7 8:24 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 1
    COLUMBUS 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) DEVIN SETOGUCHI 22 (CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF, JOE
    THORNTON) 0:54

    Sharks 1, Blue Jackets 2  2nd - 19:06Feb 7 8:06 PM


  • ------------------------
    San Jose
    0 --0
    Columbus 2 --2
    ------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    -----------------------------
    San Jose 8 --8
    Columbus 3 --3
    -----------------------------

    Goalies : San Jose, Evgeni Nabokov (3 shots, 1 saves). Columbus, Dan
    LaCosta (8 shots, 8 saves). Referees: Dean Morton, Kerry Fraser.
    Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Ryan Ga

    Feb 7 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 0
    COLUMBUS 2
    1ST PRD: COB - RICK NASH 23 (KRISTIAN HUSELIUS, ROSTISLAV KLESLA) 9:33

    Sharks 0, Blue Jackets 2  1st - 10:27Feb 7 7:28 PM


  • NHL
    SAN JOSE 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON WILLIAMS 10 (UNASSISTED) 1:46

    Sharks 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 18:14Feb 7 7:15 PM
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