Being third in the NHL in scoring isn’t enough for the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’ll need to start winning more to please their fans.
Columbus was blanked 4-0 by Boston on Friday night, leading many of the 18,136 fans in the CoreComm Ice Haus to start booing. The Blue Jackets managed just three shots on goal in the first period and finished with 24 for the game.
The team went 0-for-3 on the power play, and looked lethargic while playing for the third time in four days.
“We didn’t show up,” Columbus coach Doug MacLean said. “It was discouraging. It was one of those nights. We had no jump and they had all kinds.”
It also extended the Blue Jackets’ winless streak to three games (0-2-1) as the team, which is third in the league on the power play, has gone just 2-for-15 with the man advantage during that stretch.
“There wasn’t anything to be said after the game,” captain Luke Richardson said. “We’ll start from scratch right now.”
Phoenix, 2-1-1 since snapping a nine-game winless streak, has shown a recent penchant for late comebacks.
The Coyotes erased two deficits against Dallas on Friday night, and Jan Hrdina scored with 49.5 seconds left in regulation for a 3-3 tie.
Two nights earlier, Phoenix came back from a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat Colorado in overtime.
“What can I say, these are the cardiac kids,” Coyotes coach Bob Francis said.
However, Phoenix’s 3.03 goals-against average is among the worst in the league.
Despite Boucher’s 3-0-2 career record against Columbus, Sean Burke is expected to start in this game.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 14): Coyotes - 15 points, 4th place, 3 PB, Pacific Division. Blue Jackets - 12 points, 5th place, 9 PB, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Coyotes - Ladislav Nagy, 9 goals, 10 assists and 19 points; Cale Hulse, 40 PIM. Blue Jackets - David Vyborny and Rick Nash, 9 goals; Todd Marchant, 8 assists; Vyborny, 13 points; Jody Shelley, 49 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 14): Coyotes - Power play: 26.5 percent (21 for 79), 2nd in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.5 percent (10 for 69), 7th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 15.2 percent (11 for 72), 20th. Penalty killing: 83.5 percent (16 for 97), 15th.
2002-2003 SEASON SERIES: Coyotes, 2-1-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 18; Coyotes, 5-2. At Phoenix, Boucher improved to 3-0-2 against the Blue Jackets with 14 saves, and Tony Amonte—now with Philadelphia—had a pair of goals.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Coyotes - 2-3-3-1 on the road; Blue Jackets - 5-3-0-0 at home.