COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- These days it seems odd when Rick Nash only scores
Columbus' second-year star scored his NHL-leading 28th goal -- and came close
to at least another one or two -- to help the Blue Jackets tie the Edmonton
Oilers 4-4 on Sunday night.
"I thought we should have won the game 7-3 or 7-4," Blue Jackets interim
coach Gerard Gallant said. "They had some luck tonight and we didn't."
Nash, featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated as one of the
NHL's budding stars, had chances to score a few more times.
"I don't enjoy the 0-0 games," he said with a grin. "I find it exciting
and it's exciting for the fans. A lot of people are saying the game doesn't
have enough offense, and when you see games like this, it's fun to watch and
I'm sure that the fans love it. And, obviously, the players love playing those
types of game."
The puck was behind Nash after he took a pass from David Vyborny a minute
into the third period. Nash regained control by tapping the puck back between
his skates with a defenseman draped on his back before jamming it past
goaltender Ty Conklin to give Columbus a 4-3 lead.
"It was a nice play by Vyborny and I just had to try to bring it up on my
forehand," Nash said. "Everybody can do it in the NHL. It's just a quick move
up to your forehand. It's really not that hard."
The Oilers' Eric Brewer scored his second goal of the season 5:45 into the
third to tie it.
Even Brewer came away impressed with Nash.
"He's a heck of a player," Brewer said. "He's obviously found where he
can play well. He's in front of the net all the time, which makes a huge
difference. He's a big body that skates well."
There were plenty of prime scoring chances the rest of the way -- the best
coming when Nash fed fellow 19-year-old Nikolai Zherdev and his shot was just
wide with 41 seconds left in overtime.
Mike York, Ethan Moreau and Brad Isbister also had goals for Edmonton, while
Steve Staios matched his career high with three points and Radek Dvorak added
Vyborny also tied a career high with three points on a goal and two assists.
Zherdev added his sixth goal and Tyler Wright had his third of the season for
the Blue Jackets.
Goals came in bunches throughout the game, with the teams trading goals in a
little more than a minute during the opening period.
Vyborny got his 13th off a centering pass from behind the goal line from
Nash. York then circled around the net and slipped a backhander past Columbus
goaltender Marc Denis for his 15th of the season.
The Blue Jackets built a 3-1 lead on goals by Wright and Zherdev's sixth --
the latter coming on a five-on-three advantage.
The Oilers pulled even with two goals within 15 seconds later in the period.
Moreau redirected a shot in the slot for his ninth goal before Isbister scored
a quick goal on Dvorak's pretty no-look, behind-the-back feed from behind the
"I'll take the point," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We fought
back and it's a big point after being down 3-1."
The Blue Jackets had 1:38 with a two-man advantage in the second period,
then started the third with another five-on-three on which Nash scored.
Brewer's one-timer from the right dot after a cross-ice pass from Ales
Hemsky evened it for the final time.
Nash's drive from just inside the blue line evaded Conklin but hit the far
post with 10:08 left in regulation.
"It's been a long time for a 19-year-old kid to play like that," Wright
said. "It's exciting to watch these guys and what they do, what they try, the
confidence that they have to be able to try these things. Being an older
player, it's just a treat."