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Wright scores third goal with 43.8 seconds left

3/20/2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Tyler Wright will never win a hockey
skills competition, nor will he ever win style points for his grace
on the ice. About all he does is get things done.

Wright scored his third goal of the game off a give-and-go from
Ray Whitney with 43.8 seconds left in overtime as the Columbus Blue
Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Thursday night.

"There's really nothing pretty to my game,'' Wright said after
his third career hat trick and second of the season. "I just go to
the net and shoot the puck.''

Wright, who hadn't scored in 18 games, has a career-high 18
goals this season. Rick Nash also scored for Columbus.

Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Aki Berg had goals for Toronto,
which is 2-0-2-2 in its last six.

Much of the Maple Leafs' problems stemmed from their 13
penalties resulting in nine Columbus power plays.

"We had a two-goal lead tonight and we gave it up because of
penalty situations. We can't continue to have that happen,''
Toronto coach Pat Quinn said.

Pressed on what he thought about the officiating, Quinn grew
angry.

"All I can do is get myself in trouble if I answer the way I
feel. I don't intend to pay a ... fine again,'' he said.

Wright carried the puck over the blue line until defenseman
Robert Svehla confronted him. Wright dropped a pass for Whitney,
who split two defenders and fed Wright who was swooping in from the
left corner. Wright used his skate to steady the puck and then beat
Trevor Kidd to the glove side inside the far post.

"How good was Tyler Wright?'' Columbus interim coach Doug
MacLean said. "If Tyler wouldn't have scored a goal, he still
would have had a great game. He battled and made tremendous
plays.''

The Leafs forced overtime when Nolan tipped in Sundin's shot
with 1:12 left in regulation. Nolan, acquired from San Jose on
March 5, has scored six goals and has two assists in six games with
the Leafs.

Toronto was making its first appearance ever in Columbus.

The Blue Jackets scored three times -- twice on power plays -- in
the second period to take a 3-2 lead heading into the third period.

Berg's third goal at the 5:47 mark gave the Maple Leafs a 2-0
lead. No sooner had Berg's slap shot settled into the net than
Columbus goaltender Marc Denis skated to mid-ice to protest to an
official that he was interfered with by Toronto's Travis Green on
the play. Replays appeared to show Green made contact with Denis as
he skated across the crease, just as Berg was loading up for his
shot.

"It was one of those games, lots of power plays, lots of
scoring chances,'' said Denis, who had 29 saves. "We're two of the
most penalized teams in the NHL, so you have to expect that type of
game.''

Moments later, Denis checked Mikael Renberg on the back boards
and received a rousing cheer. The hit seemed to galvanize the Blue
Jackets.

Wright took advantage of a bad pass by Jyrki Lumme for an
unassisted goal at the 9:53 mark then Columbus scored twice on
power plays in the wild final 5 minutes of the period.

Bryan McCabe picked up a double-minor for a cross-check and
unsportsmanlike conduct right after Nik Antropov was sent to the
penalty box for roughing.

Given 56 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage, the Blue Jackets tied it
on Nash's rebound off an assist from Geoff Sanderson.

Toronto's Sundin -- who earlier scored his 32nd goal -- was
whistled for roughing and Wright notched his second goal of the
night when he redirected Rostislav Klesla's shot from the right
wing.

"The puck sort of followed me around,'' Wright said. "You have
to take advantage of those nights.''

Five minutes in, Sundin skated in front of Sanderson's pass to
Jaroslav Spacek and was all alone as he zeroed in on Denis.

Game notes
Wesley's assist on Sundin's short-handed goal was his
second since being traded from Carolina on March 9 for a
second-round draft pick. ... The teams are 1-1-1-0 in the season
series. ... Nolan has a six-game points streak, all since coming to
the Leafs.