St. Louis (7-5-0) at Columbus (7-3-2)

Cloudy Currently: Columbus, OH
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 5:00 pm EST Sun Nov 4, 2007
  • TV: FSMW, FSOH
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Another stellar outing from Pascal Leclaire and an amazing goal by Rick Nash helped the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the St. Louis Blues late last month.

The Blue Jackets look for another strong effort against the Blues when the Central Division foes meet Sunday night at Nationwide Arena.

Nash - who has a team-leading nine goals and 15 points - scored on a shot between his legs that went high into the top of the net and Leclaire made a season-high 36 saves for league-leading fourth and most recent shutout in a 3-0 home victory over St. Louis on Oct. 25.

Columbus (7-3-2), off to its best start in the seven-season history of the franchise, will try for a fourth straight victory over St. Louis (7-5-0), which looks to bounce back from a disappointing 3-2 home loss to Chicago on Saturday.

Nash’s highlight-reel goal even had some St. Louis players in awe.

“Nash between the legs top shelf - it’s pretty hard to stop a guy with that size and those hands,” Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said of the top overall pick in the 2002 draft.

Though Nash has scored in each of the last two meetings with St. Louis, the Blues’ biggest challenge might be trying to find a way to beat Leclaire, who is expected back in net after sitting out Columbus’ 2-1 shootout loss at Anaheim on Thursday.

Leclaire, who turns 25 on Wednesday, is 6-2-0 with a 1.25 goals-against average and 4-1-0 with three shutouts at home. As he looks for his fourth straight victory, Leclaire is 4-2-2 with a 2.21 GAA versus the Blues.

Jiri Novotny had a goal and an assist in the most recent game against St. Louis. Nikolai Zherdev scored his third of the season in the loss on Thursday, snapping the Blue Jackets’ four-game winning streak.

St. Louis is one of four teams yet to lose consecutive games this season. The Blues have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games after winning four in a row.

On Saturday, St. Louis allowed a pair of short-handed goals in the third period. The Blues also went 0-for-5 on the power play versus Chicago and are just 1-for-24 in their last five games with the man advantage.

Paul Kariya, though, scored his third goal of the season and will look to record a point in his fifth straight game. He had five goals and five assists in eight games versus the Blue Jackets last season while with Nashville.

“He’s there every game and very well prepared,” St. Louis’ Doug Weight said. “He’s made us a better team and that’s why we went out and got him.”

Manny Legace made 19 saves Saturday and could be in goal for the Blues on Sunday. Though he didn’t start the previous loss to the Blue Jackets, Legace has won his last four starts against Columbus to improve to is 13-4-0 with a tie and a 2.49 GAA in his career against them.

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Sunday, Nov 4