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Weekly Report: Blue Jackets Close Out 2005-06 Season on Tuesday

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS (34-43-4, 72 pts./3rd Central Division)

Tue., Apr. 18 vs. Dallas Stars, Nationwide Arena 7 p.m.
FSN Ohio/WBNS-AM, WWCD-FM Times are Eastern; WBNS-AM (1460 the Fan); WWCD-FM (CD101)

THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE: The Blue Jackets will hold their final game day skate of the season on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Nationwide Arena. Practice will last approximately 30 minutes with media availability to follow.

ROSTER & INJURY REPORT: Apr. 17: Added Andy Delmore to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL) on emergency recall… Apr. 16: Assigned Andy Delmore to the Syracuse Crunch (AHL)… Apr. 15: Added Andy Delmore and Jamie Pushor to the roster on emergency recall from Syracuse (AHL)… Injuries: RW Nikolai Zherdev (sprained knee, Apr. 1 vs. Chicago) is day-to-day… Rostislav Klesla (groin strain, Apr. 13 vs. St. Louis) is day-to-day… C Mike Rupp (irregular heartbeat) and Bryan Berard (lower back injury, Jan. 27 vs. Minnesota) are out for the season.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Dallas Stars – 53-22-5, 111 pts. (1st, Pacific Division)… Final of four meetings this season… Columbus is 2-16-1 in the all-time series, including a 2-8-0 mark at home… Dallas has won all three meetings this season, including 5-3 at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 21 and 3-2 at home in the last meeting on Apr. 11… Head Coach: Dave Tippett… Players to Watch – C Mike Modano (27-50-77, 12 PPG, +23 in 77 games)… C Jason Arnott (31-43-74, 11 PPG, 5 GWG in 80 games)… G Marty Turco (41-18-5, 2.54 GAA, .898 SV%, 3 SO in 67 games).

WEEK IN REVIEW: Apr. 11 – at Dallas 3, Blue Jackets 2: The Blue Jackets got goals from Duvie Westcott and Sergei Fedorov in the game's final 2:27, but the Stars held on to remain unbeaten at home in 10 all-time contests vs. Columbus. Dallas took a 1-0 first period lead on a Jason Arnott power play goal, added a power play tally by Janne Niinimaa and a Jaroslav Svoboda goal in the second period to build a 3-0 lead before withstanding the late Columbus rally. Marc Denis made 23 saves in net for the Jackets, while Marty Turco stopped 15-of-17 shots for the Stars, who converted 2-of-7 power play chances to Columbus' 0-of-4 showing with the man advantage… Apr. 13 – at Blue Jackets 4, St. Louis 1: Sergei Fedorov tallied 1-1-2 and Pascal Leclaire made 26 saves to lead Columbus to the win. Following a scoreless first period, the Jackets took a 2-0 lead on goals by Fedorov and Mark Hartigan in the first 2:28 of the second period. St. Louis cut the lead to 2-1 on a goal by Jamal Mayers midway through the period, but Columbus responded with third period goals by Aaron Johnson and Manny Malhotra to win going away. The Jackets out-shot the Blues 31 to 27 en route to the win… Apr. 15 – at Blue Jackets 5, Chicago 2: David Vyborny tallied 2-1-3, including the game-winning goal early in the third period, to lead the Jackets to their eighth win in the last 11 games. Dan Fritsche and Rick Nash each added 1-1-2 for Columbus, who led 2-0 after one period before a second period onslaught by Chicago that saw the Hawks tie the game at 2-2 and out-shoot the Jackets 17 to 9. Columbus responded with three unanswered goals in the third and rode Marc Denis' 34 saves to the win… Apr. 16 – at Chicago 4, Blue Jackets 3: Kyle Calder scored a goal at 15:28 of the third period to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets at United Center. Chicago out-shot Columbus 41 to 16 in the game and converted 2-of-11 power play opportunities compared to the Jackets' 1-of-5 effort with the man advantage. Columbus led 1-0 on a David Vyborny first period goal before Chicago scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 lead. After Rick Nash and Mark Bell registered power play goals, Columbus tied the game at 3-3 on a Sergei Fedorov shorthanded tally at the 13:30 mark. Pascal Leclaire made 37 saves for the Blue Jackets, while Craig Anderson made 13 saves for the Blackhawks.

NASH JUST FIFTH PLAYER IN LAST 10 YEARS TO SCORE 30 GOALS IN LESS THAN 60 GAMES: LW Rick Nash scored his 30th goal of the season vs. Chicago on Apr. 15 to become just the fifth player in the last 10 years to score 30 goals in a season while playing in less than 60 games. He scored goal no. 30 in his 52nd game. Since returning from injury on Dec. 17 after missing 28 of the first 31 contests of the season, Nash has notched 31-22-53 in 53 games and has racked up 14-9-23 in his last 19 contests.

VYBORNY INCREASES CAREER HIGH TOTALS; FIRST JACKET TO RECORD THREE-STRAIGHT 20-GOAL SEASONS: RW David Vyborny recorded his third three-point game of the season with 2-1-3 vs. Chicago on Apr. 15, added 1-1-2 at Chicago the following night and has established career highs for assists and points in a season with 21-41-62 in 79 games. The 2005-06 season also marks the third-straight in which he has hit the 20-goal mark, making him the first player in club history to record 20 or more goals in three consecutive seasons. He scored 20 in 2002-03 and 22 in 2003-04.

FRITSCHE MAKING MOST OF RECENT RECALL: C Dan Fritsche has tallied 2-2-4 with a +2 plus/minus rating in seven games since being recalled by the Blue Jackets to replace injured Nikolai Zherdev on Apr. 3. He has two multi-point games during that span, tallying 1-1-2 at Detroit on Apr. 7 and 1-1-2 vs. Chicago on Apr. 15. Overall, the Parma, Ohio native has 3-2-5 in his last nine games with the club after registering 3-5-8 in his first 49 outings this season.

BLUE JACKETS COMPILE BEST RECORD IN FRANCHISE HISTORY IN 2005-06: With a 5-2 win over Chicago on Apr. 15, the Blue Jackets secured the best record in the club's five NHL seasons by earning its 72nd point. With a 34-43-4 record and 72 points through 81 games, the club has surpassed the 71 points earned during the inaugural 2000-01 season (28-39-9-6). The Jackets have set franchise records for wins (34), home wins (22) and road wins (12) this season. Since Dec. 23 when the team stood 9-25-1 with 19 points through 35 games, Columbus has posted a 25-18-3 record with 53 points in 46 games.

FANTASTIC FANALE SET FOR TUESDAY VS. DALLAS: The Blue Jackets conclude their 2005-06 season on Tuesday when they host the Dallas Stars in FANtastic FANale V at Nationwide Arena. The season finale will once again give fans the chance to win the Jerseys of Our Backs immediately following the game, as well as other festivities throughout the night. The grand prize winner of the Jet Away to the Cup contest, which will provide one winner and three guests private charter jet transportation to a 2006 Stanley Cup Finals game, four tickets to the game and overnight hotel accommodation courtesy of the Blue Jackets and Jetride Aircraft Management, will also be determined.

NHL DRAFT LOTTERY SLATED FOR TUESDAY: The 2006 National Hockey League Draft Lottery will be held at the League office in New York on Tuesday. The lottery will determine the order of the first 12 picks at this year's Entry Draft, which will be held at GM Place in Vancouver on Saturday, June 24.

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 10-11 a.m. with hosts Mark Wyant and members of the Blue Jackets broadcast team.

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