Blue Jackets 4, Blues 3, SO
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Rick Nash’s winning shootout move was a rerun, as seen on TV.
Nash’s first goal in the NHL’s new tiebreaker gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on Friday night and stretched the Blues’ losing streak to nine.
“I saw that move a couple of weeks ago in a game and it looked like a pretty good move to use in a shootout,” Nash said with a grin.
The victory improved Columbus to 4-2 in shootouts. The Blues fell to 1-4 and lost for the second consecutive night in the penalty-shot contest.
Dean McAmmond and Doug Weight were stopped by Blue Jackets goalie Marc Denis in the shootout, and Columbus’ Jaroslav Balastik was turned aside in his first-round attempt. When Nash came off the bench for Columbus’ second try, he was greeted by a standing ovation.
“I was 0-for-2 in shootouts, so far,” said Nash, who shared the league goal-scoring title in 2003-2004. “I figured I needed to make one sooner or later or I wouldn’t be shooting.”
He worked the puck from left to right and back again as he skated in on Curtis Sanford, who took over for the injured Jason Bacashihua late in regulation. Nash went to the left post and reached back to backhand the puck past Sanford.
Denis, who had 41 saves before the shootout, then stopped Mike Sillinger— who scored earlier to extend his goal streak to four games—to clinch the win.
“It just kind of sums up our season, the way it’s been going,” St. Louis coach Mike Kitchen said. “We hit posts and had pucks coming through Denis and out to the side. But that’s all part of the game. We’re snakebitten trying to score goals.”
The Blue Jackets trailed 3-2 heading into the third period but the Blues lost for the second night in a row after leading through two. David Vyborny split two defenders to feed Jan Hrdina for a jam shot at the corner of the goal 6:50 into the period.
“We found our legs, we found our game, in the third period,” Denis said. “That’s what really matters. We got the game-tying goal. The rest of the way, we battled. You could probably put a question mark on the way we came out in this game, but in the third and in overtime our effort was second to none.”
There were three short-handed goals—Sillinger and Dennis Wideman for St. Louis, and Vyborny for the Blue Jackets. The Blues had scored only three short-handed goals in their first 46 games.
McAmmond also had a goal for the Blues, with Dallas Drake picking up two assists.
“We should have won,” Weight said. “We should have won the game. We outchanced them 8-1 in overtime.”
Nikolai Zherdev had the other Columbus goal.
The game marked the first appearance for Blue Jackets defenseman Bryan Berard since it was announced earlier in the day that he failed a drug test for a banned steroid and was suspended from international competition for two years. He took the test as a prospective member of the U.S. Olympic hockey team, a squad for which he wasn’t picked.
Berard was not booed and received a smattering of applause.
Nash said the Berard situation had no bearing on the Blue Jackets.
“We had a game tonight against the St. Louis Blues. That was our main concern,” he said. “We got the two points and now we’ll worry about Nashville.”
Sanford has lost his last seven appearances. The Blues have also dropped eight straight road games.
Wideman’s first career short-handed goal gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead through two periods.
Hrdina’s tying goal was his first score in 13 games.
“Sometimes you have to find a way to win,” Hrdina said of the Blue Jackets, who have won three of four and five of seven. “In the beginning of the year, we played some good games and we lost. We’ve just started working hard and we were kind of lucky to get a win.”
Columbus D Radoslav Suchy was a late scratch because of the flu. … Bacashihua hurt his left shoulder and back when Blue Jackets C Dan Frische slammed into him on a rush with 1:36 left in regulation. … The two short-handed goals in a period against the Blue Jackets matched a franchise record.