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Columbus
Blue Jackets
34-36-12
Phoenix
Coyotes
38-37-7

33 SOG
27 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
CBJ
PHX
game recap

Blue Jackets 2, Coyotes 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets 2, Coyotes 1
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Phoenix Coyotes 1

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -Despite a one-goal margin of victory, Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock thought his team deserved more.

Nonetheless, Jason Chimera and Nikolai Zherdev scored early in the first period to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night.

The win was the Jackets' third in four games against Phoenix and moved Columbus to within one point of Phoenix in the race for a playoff spot.

"With the way we played, we deserved to be up more than just 2-1," Hitchcock said. "Nothing comes easy for this team. We have to fight and claw for everything."

The final seconds were not easy for Columbus.

The Coyotes had an opportunity to tie late in the game. The Jackets' Jared Bolt went off for holding with 1:32 remaining. Columbus goalie Fredrik Norrena preserved the win with a brilliant glove save against Steven Reinprecht in the closing seconds.

"I tried to pull it with my backhand and get it upstairs," Reinprecht said. "I was in pretty tight but he got a good glove on it. It was a nice save."

Norrena stopped 26 shots for his seventh victory of the season.

Strong defense in the slot and around Norrena keyed the Columbus win.

"This was a solid team effort," he said. "We did get strong play in front of the net and when that happens, it makes it easier to make the save."

Blue Jackets goalie Fredrik Norrena, right, makes a save as the Coyotes Joel Perrault battles Adam Foote (52) in the third period of Columbus' 2-1 win at Phoenix on Thursday. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Blue Jackets started the game by scoring two goals with their first seven shots.

Early in the opening period, and with the Coyotes on the power play, Pete Mueller could not hold a pass at the right point. Chimera raced to center ice, scooped up the loose puck, skated down the left side and beat Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 4:20.

Then skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, Zherdev picked up his 22nd of the season on a rebound at 9:09. The goal gave Columbus a 2-0 lead.

"We played a very structured game," Chimera said. "Defensively, we did not give them too much and really limited their good chances."

Phoenix cut it to 2-1 midway through the middle period when Mike York scored on the power play at 12:56. For York, that goal was his first since scoring at San Jose on Dec. 20, and his sixth on the season.

The loss left Phoenix 11-12-2 on home ice.

"It just seems like we keep digging ourselves in holes now at home, and that's not good," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We need to figure out a way to come out quicker and get ahead."

Notes: The Coyotes' Craig Weller received a match penalty in the first period for intent to injure Ole-Kristian Tollefsen in a fight. During the altercation, Tollefsen sustained a hard shot to the head and did not return. Zherdev's goal was his second in the past eight games.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:20
CBJ
SHG - Jason Chimera (10) ASST: Manny Malhotra (12), Jan Hejda (10)
1 - 0 CBJ
09:09
CBJ
PPG - Nikolay Zherdev (22) ASST: Ron Hainsey (20), Jiri Novotny (12)
2 - 0 CBJ
2nd Period
12:56
PHX
PPG - Mike York (6) ASST: Steve Reinprecht (22), Peter Mueller (19)
2 - 1 CBJ
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
03:41
CBJ
David Vyborny  Hooking against  Steve Reinprecht
06:09
PHX
Craig Weller  Boarding against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
06:09
PHX
Craig Weller  Match penalty against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
06:09
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Craig Weller
08:58
PHX
Keith Ballard  Kneeing against  Rostislav Klesla
13:26
PHX
Joel Perrault  Slashing against  Manny Malhotra
13:26
CBJ
Manny Malhotra  Slashing against  Joel Perrault
2nd Period
01:50
CBJ
Jared Boll  Slashing against  Zbynek Michalek
06:13
CBJ
Manny Malhotra  Hooking against  Joel Perrault
10:58
CBJ
Jan Hejda  Hooking against  Peter Mueller
14:27
PHX
Nick Boynton  Hooking against  Dan Fritsche
14:45
CBJ
Rick Nash  Interference against  Daniel Winnik
3rd Period
02:54
PHX
Nick Boynton  Boarding against  Gilbert Brule
03:43
CBJ
David Vyborny  Tripping against  Keith Ballard
18:28
CBJ
Jared Boll  Holding against  Nick Boynton
goalie stats
Fredrik Norrena
SA: 27TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 14 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 12 - 13
SV%: .963SH: 0 - 0
Ilya Bryzgalov
SA: 33TOI: 58:02
Saves: 31EV: 27 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .939SH: 0 - 1