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Weekly Report: Blue Jacket Play First Three Home Games Following Olympic Break

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

WEEKLY REPORT: Mar. 6, 2006

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (24-35-2, 50 pts./3rd Central Division)

Tue., Mar. 7 vs. Chicago Blackhawks, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
Thu., Mar. 9 vs. Phoenix Coyotes, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 11 vs. Edmonton Oilers, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN-Fox Sports Net, WBNS-AM (1460), WWCD-FM (101.1); Times are Eastern

THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: Blue Jackets practices typically last 60 to 90 minutes with media availability following. The schedule for Mar. 7-13 (Tue.-Mon.) is as follows: Tue. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Wed. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Thu. – 10:30 a.m. (Nationwide Arena)… Fri. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Sat. – 10:30 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Sun. – 11 a.m. (Dispatch Ice Haus)… Mon. – 11:30 a.m. (Savvis Center, St. Louis)… Practice times are local and subject to change. Practices at the Dispatch Ice Haus are open to the public.

ROSTER REPORT: Mar. 2 – Recalled D Aaron Johnson from the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Feb. 28 – Acquired LW Cam Severson from the Calgary Flames in exchange for D Cale Hulse… Feb. 27 – Activated C Mike Rupp from Injured Reserve

INJURY REPORT: D Ron Hainsey (knee sprain, Feb. 28) is day-to-day… D Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) is out indefinitely.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Chicago Blackhawks – 19-32-9, 47 pts. (4th, Central Division)… Fourth of eight meetings this season… Jackets are 11-11-2 in the all-time series, including 7-4-1 at home… Columbus has won all three meetings this season by one goal, including 4-3 in overtime at home on Dec. 26… Head Coach: Trent Yawney… Players to Watch – LW Kyle Calder (14-27-41 in 57 games)… LW Mark Bell (20-18-38, 9 PPG in 60 games)… G Nikolai Khabibulin (12-18-3, 3.32 GAA, .883 SV% in 33 games)… Phoenix Coyotes – 28-29-4, 60 pts. (5th, Pacific Division)… Third of four meetings this season… Columbus is 5-9-4 in the all-time series, including 4-3-1 at home… Teams have split two meetings this season with Columbus picking up its first-ever win at Phoenix, 5-2, on Jan. 8… Head Coach: Wayne Gretzky… Players to Watch – LW Ladislav Nagy (15-41-56, 4 GWG in 51 games)… RW Shane Doan (20-26-46, 12 PPG in 61 games)… G Curtis Joseph (23-17-2, 3.02 GAA, .895 SV%, 2 SO in 46 games)… Edmonton Oilers – 32-21-8, 72 pts. (4th, Northwest Division)… Fourth of four meetings this season… Columbus is 3-12-4 in the all-time series, including 1-5-3 at home… Oilers have won two-of-three this season, including 3-1 at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 11… Head Coach: Craig MacTavish… Players to Watch – RW Ales Hemsky (16-44-60, 6 PPG in 61 games)… LW Ryan Smyth (28-21-49, 15 PPG in 55 games)… G Jussi Markkanen (15-12-6, 3.13 GAA, .880 SV% in 37 games).

WEEK IN REVIEW: Mar. 2 – at Colorado 1, Blue Jackets 0: Colorado's Brett Clark scored a power play goal at 15:51 of the second period to lift the Avalanche to the win and spoil an outstanding outing by Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire. Leclaire made 39 saves, while David Aebischer stopped all 24 shots he faced to record his fourth shutout of the season. Columbus was 0-of-6 on the power play, while Colorado converted 1-of-7 with the man advantage… Mar. 4 – at Los Angeles 3, Blue Jackets 2: Mike Cammalleri's power play goal with 5:55 left in the third period spoiled a Columbus comeback and lifted the Kings to the win at STAPLES Center. Los Angeles built a 2-0 lead on a pair of second period goals by Sean Avery before the Jackets battled back to tie the game at 2-2 in the third thanks to two goals by Nikolai Zherdev in the period's first 4:35. Marc Denis made 32 saves in net for Columbus, while Mathieu Garon made 24 to pick up the win for Los Angeles… Mar. 6 – Blue Jackets 3, at Anaheim 2 (SO): Pascal Leclaire made 43 saves and stopped all three Anaheim shootout attempts to lead the Blue Jackets, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Columbus led 2-1 after one period on power play goals by Jaroslav Balastik and Nikolai Zherdev, before Anaheim's Andy McDonald tied the game with a goal at 17:36 of the third period. After the Jackets killed off an Anaheim power play in overtime, Rick Nash scored the deciding goal in the third round of the shootout against J-S Giguere, who finished the game with 32 saves in net for the Mighty Ducks.

LECLAIRE SHINES IN NET, REGISTERS FIFTH 40-SAVE GAME: G Pascal Leclaire went 1-1-0 with a 1.46 goals-against average and .965 save percentage, stopping 82-of-85 shots against in two games last week. On Mar. 5 at Anaheim, he made 43 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts in a 3-2 win. The game was his fifth 40-save game of the season, which is one shy of the most in the NHL by a rookie goaltender since 1990-91 (Mike Richter, NY Rangers in 1990-91).

ZHERDEV STAYS HOT, BECOMES EIGHTH JACKET TO HIT 20-GOAL PLATEAU: RW Nikolai Zherdev scored three goals in two games last week to give him a team-leading 22 on the season becoming the eighth player in team history to score 20-goals in a season. With 22-20-42 in 60 games, he needs just eight more goals to become the third player to hit the 30-goal plateau (Rick Nash, 41 in 2003-04; Geoff Sanderson, 34 in 2002-03 and 30 in 2000-01). He has scored nine goals in his last 14 games, including his third multi-goal game of the season with two at Los Angeles on Mar. 4.

TEAM NOTES: Columbus is 20-8-1 this season with wins in 10 of its last 11 games when scoring three or more goals… The Blue Jackets are 9-2-0 in their last 11 games at Nationwide Arena… The Blue Jackets have the second-best power play in the NHL since Jan. 1, converting 21.5 percent of their chances with the man advantage (25-of-116). Only New Jersey is better (24.4 percent/21-of-86)… Blue Jackets players and wives hosted the first annual Hockey Fest family carnival at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, Feb. 26. The event was attended by 2,500 fans and raised $90,000 for the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS: Mar. 7 vs. Chicago – Blue Jackets Night Out Presented by QFM96, Ohio's Best Rock: Package includes two tickets, two Nachos and two beers (must be 21-years-old or older with a valid Ohio I.D.) for just $49… Mar. 9 vs. Phoenix – Columbus Zoo Night: Package includes one ticket and one voucher for an exclusive pre-game event with Jack Hanna for just $25. The first 75 package purchasers will also receive a commemorative Jack Hanna bobblehead… Blue Jackets 80s Night: Another package available for the Blue Jackets-Coyotes game includes one ticket, a coupon good for six free wings courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings and free admission to an 80s Party and post-game concert by The Reaganomics at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion hosted by Mark Dantzer of Mix 97.1… Mar. 11 vs. Edmonton – Chris Cagle Country Combo: Package includes one ticket to the game and one ticket to a post-game concert by Chris Cagle at the Lifestyles Communities Pavilion courtesy of 92.3 WCOL Buckeye Country.

HATS FOR HEROES NIGHT SET FOR MAR. 8 AT bd's MONGOLIAN BARBEQUE: Meet Blue Jackets players Manny Malhotra, Jason Chimera and Jody Shelley on Wednesday, Mar. 8 during Hats For Heroes Night at Columbus-area bd’s Mongolian Barbeque restaurants. Blue Jackets players and broadcasters will be at select restaurants from 6-8 p.m. to show their support for our Heroes and the fight against pediatric cancer. Hats For Heroes hats will be available for purchase at all locations.

Jody Shelley 6-7 p.m.
bd's Mongolian Barbeque - Dublin
6242 Sawmill Road, Columbus, OH 43017

Jason Chimera 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
bd's Mongolian Barbeque - Easton
3977 Worth Avenue, Columbus, OH 43219

Manny Malhotra 7-8 p.m.
bd's Mongolian Barbeque - Arena District
295 Marconi Boulevard, Columbus, OH 43215

UPPER ARLINGTON LEADS FOUR TEAMS INTO THIS WEEKEND'S OHSAA STATE HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS: For the fourth consecutive year, the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Ice Hockey Semi-Finals and Championship games will be held at Nationwide Arena this weekend. For the second time in four years, a team from Central Ohio will be represented as Upper Arlington defeated Dublin Coffman, 5-2 on Saturday to advance to its first OHSAA Final Four. UA will take on Parma Padua in the second semi-final game on Saturday at 1 p.m. The first semi-final contest will pit Huntington Valley University School vs. Sylvania Northview at 10 a.m. The winners will advance to the championship game, which will be televised live on ONN with the Blue Jackets radio team of George Matthews and Bill Davidge calling the action beginning at 2 p.m. The Senior All-Star Game will precede the final at 10 a.m. For more information on the tournament, log on to

JACKETS ON THE RADIO: The Doug MacLean Show airs on WBNS Sports Radio 1460 The Fan on Wednesdays from 3 -4 p.m. with the Blue Jackets President and General Manager and WBNS Radio's Bruce Hooley. Between the Pipes with the Blue Jackets can also be heard on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 1460 the Fan on Sundays from 10 to 11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

TICKET INFORMATION: Individual game and group tickets for Blue Jackets games at Nationwide Arena are on sale now at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, the Chiller Easton, the Chiller Dublin and Chiller North, all Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by phone at (614) 431-3600 or via the internet at and For information on season tickets or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or (800) NHL-COLS.

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