Blue Jackets-Wild Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (8-16-4-3) at Minnesota Wild (13-14-6-0).
TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EST.
Unbeaten in their last four games, the surging Minnesota Wild look to
continue their best stretch of the season as they meet the hapless Columbus
Blue Jackets at the Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota appeared to be on its way to a fourth straight win before
Edmonton's Brad Isbister scored with just 1.9 seconds left in regulation
Thursday night, leaving the Wild with a 1-1 tie and a 3-0-1 mark since Dec. 11.
Minnesota, which is 5-2-2 in December, has used the stretch to climb within
one win of .500.
However, Wild goalie Manny Fernandez was less than pleased that he lost a
chance for his second shutout of the Oilers this season.
"It was a mistake," Fernandez said of the tying tally. "I assumed
(Isbister) was going to shoot it right away. I went down on one knee and he
kind of fumbled the puck. I got kind of surprised. Stuff like that happens."
Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was also upset about letting the extra point slip
"It was the end of the shift," he said. "We started to be a little tired
and couldn't pressure the puck carrier. We had a chance to get the puck out. We
didn't. Then we had it again and we lost it. You can't give them too many
The Blue Jackets had a franchise-record 13 power plays Friday night, but
failed to score on any of them. To make matters worse, they allowed a
short-handed tally to Calgary's Matthew Lombardi in a 2-1 loss to the surging
"I've never seen a power play that looked that bad in a long time,"
Columbus coach and general manager Doug MacLean said. "We had umpteen
opportunities. The power play was pathetic. There's no excuse for it."
Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 20th goal for the Blue Jackets, who have
lost their last four games, and are winless in seven (0-4-1-2).
The Blue Jackets are 0-10-1-2 on the road.