DETROIT (AP) _ Rick Nash made his final bid for the Maurice ``Rocket''
He broke a 1-1 tie with his league-leading 41st goal, Marc Denis made 32
saves and the Columbus Blue Jackets ended their season with 4-1 victory
Saturday night over the Detroit Red Wings.
Nash, tied with Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for the NHL lead, also had an
assist. Trevor Letowski and Anders Eriksson joined Nash with a goal and assist
apiece. David Vyborny got the other Columbus goal, and Tyler Wright had two
The NHL's leading goal scorer each season receives the Richard trophy.
``It was great to see him score,'' Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. ``It
would have been really nice on that breakaway (late in the game, when Nash was
stopped by Detroit goaltender Manny Legace). He played a real good game and he
didn't play a selfish game trying to score goals.''
Nash entered the game tied for the goal-scoring lead with Kovalchuk and
Calgary's Jarome Iginla. Kovalchuk scored in Atlanta's 2-1 victory over Tampa
Bay. Calgary did not play.
Atlanta's season also is over. Playoff-bound Calgary finishes the regular
season Sunday in Anaheim.
``I can't control it, which is kind of nice,'' said Nash, only 19 and in his
second NHL season. ``I did my job tonight, I got one. Kovalchuk did his job, he
got one. Now it's in Iginla's hand to make the move. If he gets two, he
Steve Thomas scored the only goal for Detroit, which finished the regular
season with the NHL's highest point total (109). The Red Wings are assured of
home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
``You want to go in (to the playoffs) with a nice victory,'' said Detroit
defenseman Mathieu Dandenault. ``But it didn't happen that way. I don't think a
team like this will put too much into it and just move on.''
Nash broke the tie at 4:07 of the second period, beating Legace from the
bottom of the right circle.
``To come out and beat the best team in the league at home the last game, we
really leave on a good note,'' Nash said.
Letowski made it 3-1 when he put a shot over Legace from in close at 7:08.
Vyborny added his goal with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Eriksson got a power-play goal for Columbus with 6:27 left in the first
period, and Thomas tied it for Detroit just 50 seconds later.
``The value of it, I guess, wasn't a whole lot,'' Detroit coach Dave Lewis
said. ``But we got through it.''