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Three-goal Third Period Gives Columbus A 4-3 Win

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
(Ticker) -- Thanks to an uncharacteristic letdown in the third period, the Minnesota Wild will have to begin a new winning streak.

Defenseman Bryan Berard, Rick Nash and Sergei Fedorov scored in the final period against the normally stingy Wild, lifting the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory.

After extending its franchise-high winning streak to five games with a triumph over Nashville on Thursday, Minnesota was on its way to another win in this one as Todd White scored twice in less than three minutes midway through the second period to give the Wild a 3-1 bulge.

But with an 18-1-1 record when leading after 40 minutes, Minnesota collapsed in the third, allowing three tallies, including a fluke goal that snapped a 3-3 tie.

Berard began the comeback at 2:24, beating goaltender Dwayne Roloson to the glove side with a one-timer from the high slot during a 5-on-3 power play. It was the 12th goal of the season for Berard, eclipsing the franchise record for a defenseman set by Jamie Heward in 2000-01.

Rookie goaltender Pascal Leclaire kept alive Columbus' chances by stopping Pierre-Marc Bouchard on a breakaway with 12 1/2 minutes to go, and Nash forged a tie midway through the session by deflecting defenseman Adam Foote's rising blast from the right point past Roloson for his 13th of the campaign.

With 6:33 remaining, the Blue Jackets took the lead with help from Wild blue-liner Nick Schultz. Fedorov carried down the left side and threw the puck across the crease from low in the left faceoff circle.

Attempting to break up the pass, Schultz inadvertently backhanded it into his own net, giving Fedorov his fifth goal and Columbus a 4-3 lead. The Blue Jackets protected the advantage, limiting the Wild to just one shot the rest of the way.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey also scored and David Vyborny collected a pair of assists for Columbus, which has won six straight home meetings with Minnesota and five of its last seven games overall.

Bouchard had a goal and an assist and Brian Rolston set up two tallies for the Wild, who have not been victorious at Nationwide Arena since January 18, 2002.

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