Columbus 5, Arizona 2

Saturday, March 3, 2012 8:00 PM

Final Scoring Summary

Team Records

Team W/L Home Away Streak
Columbus 20-38-2-5 11-18-1-2 9-20-1-3 W2
Arizona 33-23-3-6 17-12-2-2 16-11-1-4 L2


BLUE JACKETS 5, COYOTES 2: Defenseman Nikita Nikitin snapped a tie at 9:12 of the third period and Derick Brassard created breathing room 4 1/2 minutes later as Columbus handed Phoenix its second straight loss.

Captain Rick Nash scored two goals and set up another, Colton Gillies added an empty-net tally and Steve Mason made 30 saves for the Blue Jackets, who improved to 4-1-1 in their last six road games.

With the contest tied, R.J. Umberger won an offensive-zone faceoff in the right circle and got the puck back to Nikitin, whose shot from the point caromed off Phoenix defenseman Michal Rozsival's stick and past Mike Smith.

Brassard, who also had an assist, made it 4-2 less than five minutes afterward as he beat Smith from the left circle after Nash pounced on a turnover behind the Coyotes' net by All-Star defenseman Keith Yandle and made a nifty pass.

Nash singlehandedly gave Columbus a 2-0 lead, scoring his 23rd and 24th goals of the season.

With the Blue Jackets shorthanded, Nash received a flip pass from Derek MacKenzie at center ice, skated around Ray Whitney for a breakaway and beat Smith high to the glove side from the left faceoff circle with 3:39 remaining in the first period.

Less than 5 1/2 minutes into the second, Nash raced in on another breakaway and slipped in a backhander while being harassed from behind by Coyotes defenseman Chris Summers and crashing into Smith. The tally was Nash's sixth in seven games and capped his fourth two-goal effort of the campaign.

Phoenix battled back later in the period to forge a tie. Whitney converted a backhand pass from the slot by captain Shane Doan at 8:19 and Lauri Korpikoski buried a rebound in front with just over six minutes left in the session.

Doan collected two assists and Smith stopped 21 shots for the Coyotes, who have begun March with two losses after going 11-0-1 in February.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Phoenix had won six straight overall and seven in a row at home prior to its current skid. ... The Coyotes lost to Columbus for just the fourth time in 14 meetings. ... The teams face off again at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday. ... Whitney has recorded at least one point in 15 of his last 17 contests.

Top Game Performances

Columbus   Arizona
Rick Nash 3 Points Shane Doan 2
Rick Nash 2 Goals Lauri Korpikoski 1
Rick Nash 1 Assists Shane Doan 2
N/A Power Play Goals Ray Whitney 1
Rick Nash 1 Short Handed Goals N/A
Steve Mason .938 Save Percentage Mike Smith .840
Steve Mason 30 Saves Mike Smith 21

Team Stats Summary

Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Columbus 26 5 0-4 3-4 13 27
Arizona 32 2 1-4 4-4 13 21

Upcoming Games

  • Arizona will play its next game on the road against Pittsburgh. The Coyotes have a W/L % of .471 after a win and .548 after a loss.
  • Columbus will play its next game at home against Arizona. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .150 after a win and .378 after a loss.
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