Final

Series (Game 1 of 8)

Columbus leads 5-3

Game 1: Wednesday, November 9th
Blues1Final
Blue Jackets3
Game 2: Wednesday, November 16th
Blues2Final
Blue Jackets0
Game 3: Saturday, November 26th
Blue Jackets4Final
Blues3
Game 4: Thursday, December 1st
Blue Jackets1Final
Blues4
Game 5: Friday, January 20th
Blues3Final
SO
Blue Jackets4
Game 6: Monday, March 13th
Blue Jackets2Final
OT
Blues3
Game 7: Friday, March 31st
Blue Jackets4Final
Blues2
Game 8: Thursday, April 13th
Blues1Final
Blue Jackets4

Blues 1

(2-10-3, 7 pts)

Blue Jackets 3

(5-11-0, 10 pts)

7:00 PM ET, November 9, 2005

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
STL 0 0 11
CBJ 1 1 13

D. Vyborny (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

M. Denis (Blue Jackets - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .960

N. Zherdev (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Vyborny helps Columbus snaps four-game skid

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The hard times continue for the St. Louis Blues.

David Vyborny scored two goals and Marc Denis stopped 24 shots to help the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory Wednesday night that extended the Blues' franchise-record losing streak to nine games.

"We've hit rock bottom," Blues forward Mike Sillinger said. "We have a team that's been struggling here for the last 10 or 12 games. ... We've got to keep working hard. The easy thing to do now is obviously to start pointing fingers. I think everybody just needs to take a deep breath and look at themselves."

Manny Malhotra and Nikolai Zherdev each had two assists for the Blue Jackets, who came in having scored the fewest goals (28) in the NHL. Columbus, which ended a four-game losing streak, has won its last three home games.

Todd Marchant also scored for the Blue Jackets, his first goal of the season.

"In hockey, there are no little things. Everything is a big thing," Marchant said. "Whether it's a chip off the wall, a guy taking a hit to make a play, sacrificing your body to block a shot -- that's all part of it. Tonight we did a lot of those little things right."

The loss kept St. Louis winless on the road (0-4-2). Lee Stempniak scored a power-play goal in the final minute to avoid the shutout.

"We're very frustrated right now," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "We're not a very confident club. That goes right to your hands and your legs, when you're not confident. That's something we have to get by. That's where you have to work your way out of this thing we are in now."

Two fights broke out after the game ended, with the officials taking several minutes to clear the ice and send the players back to the locker rooms.

Vyborny opened the scoring at 17:21 of the first period after Malhotra skated behind the net and flipped the puck into the slot with a wraparound move. Vyborny was alone in the slot and went high over Patrick Lalime's right shoulder to extend his points streak to six games. Vyborny has goals in the last three games.

"I just play hard every game," said Vyborny, who is breaking out of a slow start. "I don't care if I score. I know I had a bad beginning, but I just try to focus on every game and play my game."

St. Louis mustered five shots in the opening period, none during a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted more than a minute.

Both Malhotra and Zherdev also assisted on Vyborny's second goal. Zherdev and Vyborny passed back and forth on a 2-on-1 rush, with Vyborny again going high with the shot to beat Lalime at 2:07 of the second.

Denis wasn't tested most of the night and didn't give up a goal until the 25th and final shot by the Blues. Petr Cajanek's centering pass from the back boards found Stempniak in the slot and he scored his second goal with 36 seconds remaining.

"You could see more confidence as the game went on -- and that is something that has been lacking," Denis said. "There's some stuff we have to work on but we controlled the scoreboard. When you get the first (goal), you're playing on edge. When you get the first and second ones, all of a sudden you're playing in control. And we got a third one, a big one, and now you're in control of the game."

The Blues failed to score on their first eight power plays before Stempniak's goal. The Blue Jackets were 0-for-3 with a man advantage.

Lalime had 20 saves for the Blues.

Game notes


Columbus was opening a four-game homestand. ... The Blues have dominated the series, 13-5-3-1. ... The Blue Jackets are playing without Rick Nash, their leading goal-scorer in 2003-2004. He'll be out until mid-December with a sprained knee. ... Sillinger had his four-game points streak end, as did the seven-game points streak of Columbus' Bryan Berard.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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