"Coming in here we didn't think we were going to get five goals
on Luongo," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "I didn't expect
a 5-4 game. I was thinking 3-2 or 2-1."
Columbus took a 4-3 lead at 11:27 of the third when Michael
Rupp's shot rebounded off Luongo and Chimera poked in the puck. The
Panthers had tied it at 3 on Gratton's shot from the right circle
at 5:02 of the third.
The Blue Jackets scored two goals in less than 3 minutes in the
third period. They tied it at 2 at 1:17 on Vyborny's wrist shot
from the left circle, and took a 3-2 lead at 4:07 when Nash's shot
hit a Florida player in front of the crease and Fedorov pushed the
puck past Luongo.
"The goalies shouldn't have been the difference in the game,"
Nieuwendyk said. "They just chipped away and got back into it."
Columbus had only eight shots in the first two periods, even
though it had five power plays.
"It was one of those games where we had a lot of shots and a
lot of chances but we just did not put them away," Panther coach
Jacques Martin said.
Columbus cut the score to 2-1 at 3:23 of the second. Nash took a
pass from Nikolai Zherdev near the blue line and skated in alone on
Luongo. Nash beat Luongo on the stick side for his 11th goal in his
past 14 games.
"You don't see much net with Luongo and, lucky enough, I went
for the low blocker shot and it went in," Nash said. "It would
have been a pretty down feeling if they came back and won."
Florida's second goal of the first period came during a power
play. A slap shot from Olli Jokinen deflected off Roberts' stick
and went over Leclaire's left shoulder at 15:26. Florida took a 1-0
lead at 12:45 when Nieuwendyk took a pass to the side of the crease
and beat Leclaire stick side.
Nieuwendyk has seven goals and seven assists in the past 12
games. ... Nash has eight goals and six assists in a season-high,
eight-game points streak. ... Columbus has won six of its past
nine. ... Vyborny has a goal in three straight games. ... Fedorov
has a season-high six-game point streak.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: BB&T Center Location: Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Blaine Angus, Dennis LaRue Linesmen: Angelo D'Amico, Dan Schachte
Attendance: 17,991 (93.5% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Joe Nieuwendyk (11)
Assists: Jozef Stumpel, Jay Bouwmeester
Gary Roberts (11)
(Power Play) Assists: Olli Jokinen, Jay Bouwmeester
Rick Nash (11)
Assists: Nikolay Zherdev, Dan Fritsche
David Vyborny (11)
Assists: Jan Hrdina, Jaroslav Balastik
Sergei Fedorov (4)
Assists: Rick Nash, Nikolay Zherdev
Chris Gratton (5)
Assists: Gregory Campbell, Alexei Semenov
Jason Chimera (8)
Assists: Mike Rupp, Trevor Letowski
Nathan Horton (18)
Assists: Jay Bouwmeester, Joe Nieuwendyk
David Vyborny (11)
(Power Play) Assists: Jan Hrdina, Duvie Westcott