Rick Nash Returns for a Win
Rick Nash returned for the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night and led an effort to badly hurt the playoff chances of the Minnesota Wild. Nash scored two third period goals to lead the Blue Jackets to a 4-2 win in front of 16,419 at Nationwide Arena.
The Wild got off to a fast start, scoring the lone goal of the first period. Mikko Koivu scored his 20th goal of the season, with an assist from Antti Mettiten at the 10:28 mark of the first period. Columbus put 11 shots on goal in the period, but goaltender Josh Harding denied all of them.
Minnesota extended their lead to 2-0 just 2:42 into the second period, as Chuck Kobasew scored his 6th goal of the season. Assists on the goal came from Casey Wellman and Cam Baker. The Blue Jackets got on the scoreboard at the 13:23 mark when Kristian Huselius scored his 20th goal of the season. R.J. Umberger and Jared Boll notched assists
The third period was all Columbus, as Kris Russell scored his 7th goal, which tied the game. Nash scored his 29th at the 11:29 mark, and then later added his 30th with just :38 remaining in the game. Jakub Vorachek assisted on the third goal and Antoine Vermette on the fourth.
In the game, Mathieu Garon saved 18 of 20 shots, while the Blue Jackets fired 28 total shots on Harding. The lost for the Wild was their 31st of the season, and it kept them six points back of a final play-off spot in the Western Conference.