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Nash sets assist record in Jackets' win over Wild

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Rick Nash set another franchise record with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

Nash scored in the shootout and had two assists to become Columbus' all-time leader in that department and lifted the Blue Jackets past the Minnesota Wild 4-3 at Nationwide Arena.

He now has 206 assists. Nash is also the club leader in goals (244) and points (450).

Steve Mason, who hadn't started since Dec. 16 after getting pulled in three of four outings, returned to the net and stopped 37 shots.

"Any time you win a hockey game, you have to give yourself a little pat on the back," Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "We've had a tough time (recently), but we found a way to scramble back. It wasn't the prettiest of games. It had a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs, but at the end of the day we got the two points and that is what we needed."

Derick Brassard, Fedor Tyutin and Andrew Murray also scored for Columbus, which scored twice in 41 seconds to take the lead in the third period.

Kyle Wilson and Kristian Huselius also scored in the shootout.

Chuck Kobasew had a goal and assist, and Mikko Koivu and Cal Clutterbuck also scored for Minnesota, which has lost two in a row after a three-game winning streak.

Marek Zidlicky added two assists for the Wild, who finished 0-for-7 on the power play.

Jose Theodore, going for his 250th career win, made 19 stops.

"We had our chances and opportunities on the power play," Wild coach Todd Richards said. "I liked our 5-on-5 play. I thought we were focused and intense. At times on the power play, we lacked that intensity and that focus. I thought our power play let us down tonight. We had a chance to go up by two or three goals with the power play opportunities. You do have to give them some credit … they did a good job penalty killing."

Mason allowed the opening goal on Minnesota's third shot and misplayed a carom on the tying goal, but was otherwise stellar, particularly down the stretch in regulation and late in overtime, gloving a slap shot by Koivu. 

"After having that first one go in, I just tried to bear down and make sure to keep it out as long as possible," Mason said. "For myself, it's a big win, but for the team it's an even bigger win. We really needed this one and the guys really came through in the shootout. It doesn't happen too often that guys score three straight goals, so it's really nice to have that happen."

Down 2-1 entering the third period after Koivu's goal with 2 seconds left in the second period, the Blue Jackets scored twice in 41 seconds to take the lead.

Tyutin hammered a slap shot from the top of the left circle to tie it with his second goal at 6:54.

Murray also got his second, jamming home a wraparound shot from behind the net off Theodore's right skate at 7:35.

Just past the midpoint of the period, Huselius cut in on a breakaway but couldn't corral a bouncing puck. He curled around to the other side, finding Kris Russell all alone for a shot that Theodore pushed aside.

Minnesota went the other way and Mason misjudged the puck off the end boards, leaving a gaping area behind him for Clutterbuck to poke home his 10th goal at 11:38.

Kobasew pounced on a rebound in front and got his fourth goal at 2:59 of the first period.

Starting early in the second period, the Wild couldn't capitalize on multiple power-play chances, but instead, it was the Blue Jackets who tied the game.

Huselius chased down a loose puck deep in the Minnesota zone and centered a pass to Brassard at the left circle. He blasted his ninth over Theodore at 9:16.

Late in the period, Antti Miettinen outmuscled Jan Hejda on the forecheck, circled behind the net and zipped a cross-ice pass to Koivu alone at the right circle. Koivu sent a low shot past Mason for his eighth goal at 19:58 of the second.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.


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