COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Rick Nash put an end to the Columbus Blue Jackets'
eight-game home winless streak.
Nash scored his second goal of the game in overtime to give Columbus a 3-2
victory over Los Angeles on Friday night, the Blue Jackets' first home victory
since Dec. 2.
"We've been waiting awhile," Nash said. "I don't know if they know it or
not, but the louder they (the fans) get, the more excited and motivated we
Nash, the NHL's leading goal scorer with 27, took a pass from Darryl Sydor
at center ice, skated in alone and chipped a shot over Roman Cechmanek's
shoulder with two minutes left in overtime.
"It was kind of a mess-up in the neutral zone," Nash said. "They lost the
puck and I think Sydor just tipped it up there."
Nash put Columbus ahead 2-1 earlier in the period, but the Kings' Alexander
Frolov tied it about a minute later.
Geoff Sanderson scored Columbus' other goal, and Josef Stumpel added a goal
for the Kings, winless in their last 14 games -- three short of tying the team
record set in 1970.
"If you want to get in the playoffs you have to keep accumulating
(points)," Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said of his team that has earned one
point in four straight games. "We've been doing that but we'd rather get two
points instead of one all the time."
The game was Gerrard Gallant's first at home since becoming the Blue
Jackets' interim coach. Gallant, promoted when president and general manager
Doug MacLean relinquished the coaching duties Jan. 1, guided the team to a
2-3-2-0 mark on a road trip.
"It was great," Gallant said of the win. "We played two solid periods and
then again in the third period we laid back a bit. Fortunately, we got into
overtime and had a big goal by Nash."
Sanderson opened the scoring early in the first period, beating Cechmanek on
a breakaway off a pass from Scott Lachance.
"Not much was said about Gerrard's first game here, but the guys didn't
want to have a letdown (after the road trip)," Sanderson said.
The Kings, winless in their last seven against Columbus, tied it with 11
seconds left in the second period on Stumpel's stuff from beside the right
Columbus rookie Nikolai Zherdev spun out of the left corner, beat two Los
Angeles defenders and feed a pass to Nash for a one-timer at 7:22 of the third
period to make 2-1. Frolov responded, redirecting Jaroslav Modry's shot from
the left circle.
"They are the future of our franchise and they are two great players,"
Gallant said of Zherdev and Nash. "Our whole team played well tonight, they
worked hard and competed."