Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Columbus leads 2-1

Game 1: Saturday, January 10th
Blue Jackets2Final
OT
Kings2
Game 2: Friday, January 16th
Kings2Final
OT
Blue Jackets3
Game 3: Wednesday, February 11th
Kings2Final
OT
Blue Jackets3
Game 4: Saturday, February 21st
Blue Jackets3Final
Kings4

Kings 2

(22-15-6, 63 pts)

Blue Jackets 3

(16-28-3, 43 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 11, 2004

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 OT T
LA 1 0 1 02
CBJ 0 2 0 13

D. Vyborny (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Johnson (Blue Jackets - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

M. Denis (Blue Jackets - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .938

Columbus 3, Los Angeles 2 (OT)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Roman Cechmanek wasn't really in a giving mood when longtime friend and fellow Czech David Vyborny confronted the goaltender behind the Los Angeles net in overtime.

Vyborny, Columbus' second leading goal-scorer with 16, was caught off-guard by the unintentional gesture, scoring 1:58 into the extra session for a 3-2 win over the Kings on Wednesday night.

"He tried a fake on me and it put the puck on my stick," Vyborny said. "I was surprised."

The loss snapped the Kings' season-best seven-game unbeaten streak.

"I held it for a couple seconds, and I held the puck a little light," Cechmanek said. "It just hit Vyborny's stick."

Kings coach Andy Murray wasn't down about the loss, happy his team earned a point to keep pace for a Western Conference playoff spot.

"I think the key thing is that we keep piling points up," he said.

Columbus, unbeaten (7-0-1-0) in its last eight games against Los Angeles, also beat the Kings in overtime the last time the teams met in Columbus.

"We've got three points off of them so far (this season by reaching overtime)," Murray said, again focusing on the positive.

Defensemen Jaroslav Spacek and rookie Aaron Johnson scored for the Blue Jackets, 7-7-4 since Gerard Gallant was hired interim coach Jan. 1.

"It's real exciting," Johnson said of his first career goal. "I was trying to go to the net and (Nikolai) Zherdev saw me and made a beautiful pass."

The Kings, who tied it 2-2 on Joe Corvo's goal midway through the final period, entered unbeaten in their last five road games.

"They left me all alone in the slot," Corvo said. "I just had to redirect it high."

Alexander Frolov also scored his team-best 19th goal for Los Angeles.

The Kings, playing crisply after a 3-1 win at Minnesota on Tuesday, carried the game early. Frolov stuffed a wraparound shot behind Marc Denis to make it 1-0.

The Blue Jackets looked sluggish in their first game in a week.

"They came out hard and took it to us early," Gallant said. "Fortunately, after the 10-minute mark we got back in the game and played pretty well after that."

Carrying momentum and a power play into the second period, Spacek scored to pull Columbus even at 1. Spacek wristed the puck from the right circle over Cechmanek's glove after a nice cross-ice pass from Rick Nash, the league's leading goal-scorer with 31.

Spacek, who had a career-best 45 points last season, has missed 24 games this season with a groin injury and has only 13 points.

Johnson, recalled earlier in the week and playing only his sixth career game, snapped a shot between Cechmanek's pads to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead.

The Kings tied it when Eric Belanger's centering pass from the left boards found Corvo, who roofed a shot over Denis from the slot.

"Our defensive corps was solid," Denis said. "We stuck with it and Vyborny made a great play at the end."

Game notes


Defensemen have scored five of Columbus' last seven goals, dating back to Jan. 31 against Minnesota. Blue Jackets defenseman scored five goals in the first 51 games of the season. ... Nash, who played in Sunday's All-Star game, returned to the Columbus lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised foot. ... The game was the fourth of a season-long seven-game road trip for the Kings. ... Los Angeles is 6-2-3 since a 14-game winless skid, which included nine ties and two overtime losses. ... The Blue Jackets finished 1-for-6 on the power play, the Kings 0-for-1.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNLosAngeles.com