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Columbus
Blue Jackets
25-45-8-4
Minnesota
Wild
30-29-20-3

29 SOG
35 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
MIN
game preview

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild

Saturday, 12.20.2003 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

Blue Jackets-Wild Preview

GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (8-16-4-3) at Minnesota Wild (13-14-6-0).

TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EST.

Unbeaten in their last four games, the surging Minnesota Wild look to continue their best stretch of the season as they meet the hapless Columbus Blue Jackets at the Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota appeared to be on its way to a fourth straight win before Edmonton's Brad Isbister scored with just 1.9 seconds left in regulation Thursday night, leaving the Wild with a 1-1 tie and a 3-0-1 mark since Dec. 11.

Minnesota, which is 5-2-2 in December, has used the stretch to climb within one win of .500.

However, Wild goalie Manny Fernandez was less than pleased that he lost a chance for his second shutout of the Oilers this season.

"It was a mistake," Fernandez said of the tying tally. "I assumed (Isbister) was going to shoot it right away. I went down on one knee and he kind of fumbled the puck. I got kind of surprised. Stuff like that happens."

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was also upset about letting the extra point slip away.

"It was the end of the shift," he said. "We started to be a little tired and couldn't pressure the puck carrier. We had a chance to get the puck out. We didn't. Then we had it again and we lost it. You can't give them too many chances."

The Blue Jackets had a franchise-record 13 power plays Friday night, but failed to score on any of them. To make matters worse, they allowed a short-handed tally to Calgary's Matthew Lombardi in a 2-1 loss to the surging Flames.

"I've never seen a power play that looked that bad in a long time," Columbus coach and general manager Doug MacLean said. "We had umpteen opportunities. The power play was pathetic. There's no excuse for it."

Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 20th goal for the Blue Jackets, who have lost their last four games, and are winless in seven (0-4-1-2).

The Blue Jackets are 0-10-1-2 on the road.

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 24 '04MIN 0 at CBJ 2A. Johnson
Mar 14 '04CBJ 2 at MIN 3A. Daigle
Jan 31 '04MIN 1 at CBJ 2 - OTA. Eriksson
Dec 20 '03CBJ 2 at MIN 5A. Zyuzin
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%