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Midweek Report 10/21/09

Last Two:

Los Angeles:

After signing defenseman Kris Russel to a three-year contract extension through the 2012-2013 season, the defenseman returned the favor to the club by assisting on a Raffi Torres power play goal, which turned out to be the game winner.

For the second straight game, Columbus gave up the first goal of the game, but fought back after being down.

LA scored their lone goal of the game 10:08 into the first period on a wrist shot from Dustin Brown.

But with less than a minute remaining in the period, Jason Chimera intercepted a pass in his own zone, drove down the ice, and fired a bullet from the top of the face-off circle to the right of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to tie the score at one.

Torres’ second period power play goal proved to be the difference in the game, coming with only 2:58 remaining in the period, assisted by Brassard and Russel.

The Blue Jackets tacked on two insurance goals in the third, a shorthanded goal from the captain Rick Nash, and an empty net power play goal from Jakub Voracek with just over a minute remaining.

The goal by Nash extended his point streak to five games.

At Calgary

The Jackets headed back west for a Tuesday night affair with the Calgary Flames. After quickly falling behind by two goals, the Blue Jackets were able to get on the board courtesy of another Rick Nash shorthanded goal to cut the deficit to 2-1.

According to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the goal was Nash’s 11th shorthanded goal since the start of the 2007-2008 season, which is second in the league behind Philadelphia’s Mike Richards with 12.

The Jackets again fell down by two goals when Jay Bouwmeester added his first goal of the season, but retaliated with two straight power play goals from Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek to tie the game at three.

In a game where Columbus goaltender Steve Mason struggled, making only 16 of 22 saves, Calgary added three more goals to bring the final to 6-3.

The Youth:

In only the past two games, forwards Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek have combined for three goals and two assists. Kris Russel also added an assist.

Nikita Filatov did not skate for the third straight game, but is expected to play Thursday night when the Jackets face the Edmonton Oilers.

Power Play Watch:

Columbus was 2-6 with the man advantage Saturday night against Los Angeles with the later of the two coming on a late-game empty net goal from Jakub Voracek.

The Blue Jackets were 2-7 against Calgary, bringing the season total to 7-28, or an even 25%.

The Kill:

Columbus continues to impress on the penalty kill, having scored more than they have given up.

The Jackets were 5-5 against the Kings and 5-5 against the Flames as well, bringing the season total to 27-28, or 96%, which is tops in the league.

With Nash’s shorthander against Calgary, the Jackets have scored three shorthanded goals while only allowing one all year.

Central Race:

With seven games played, Columbus, with ten points, currently sits a half-game behind central leading Chicago, who has played eight games and recorded 11 points.

St. Louis and Detroit follow with seven points apiece, while Nashville brings up the rear with a 2-4-1 record and five points.

Columbus leads in goals against average at 2.5, while Chicago leads in goals for with an average of 3.6 goals a game.

Injury Report:

Defenseman Mike Commodore is still recovering from a groin injury but has began practicing, and is expected back in the lineup soon, according to the Columbus Blue Jackets Official Website.

Fredrik Modin and Jan Hejda both remain on the injured reserve with knee injuries and are expected to be out until late October and mid November respectively.

With the absence of both Commodore and Hejda, defenseman Fedor Tyutin has seen his playing time rapidly increase, logging a team leading 17:06 minutes in Saturday night’s victory over Los Angeles.

Up Next:

The Blue Jackets continue their western road trip with stops in Edmonton, Anaheim, and LA.

Columbus faces-off with the Oilers Thursday night in Edmonton.

Edmonton is 5-2-1 on the season and currently sits in third place in the Northwest Division.

Former Blue Jacket Gilbert Brule has tallied four goals and three assists in only seven games played with the Edmonton.

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