Leclaire, Blue Jackets Shut Out Kings
Saturday, October 28th 2006, 7:39 am
By: News On 6
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ The Los Angeles Kings did everything right except put the puck behind Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire. Leclaire helped the Blue Jackets overcome a huge shots disadvantage Friday night, making 38 saves for his first NHL shutout in a 2-0 victory.
``We dominated the game,'' Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. ``When you dominate the game, you're going to win more than you're going to lose, for sure. You have to accept the fact that sometimes goaltenders win games for teams. Tonight theirs did.''
Nikolai Zherdev and Fredrik Modin scored to help the Blue Jackets end a four-game losing skid and extend the Kings' winless streak to four. The Kings outshot the Blue Jackets 38-14, the second-fewest shots Columbus has ever had in a win.
``I haven't had a lot of shutouts in my life, but the most important thing tonight is that we won,'' said Leclaire, who will turn 25 in just over a week.
In other NHL games Friday night, Minnesota beat Anaheim 3-2 in a shootout, Detroit held off Dallas 4-3, and Vancouver edged Washington 3-2 in another shootout.
Leclaire shared the goaltending job last season with Marc Denis, but Columbus showed its confidence in the young goalie by trading Denis to Tampa Bay on June 30 for Modin and backup goalie Fredrik Norrena.
``I wasn't aware it was his first one, so congratulations to Passy,'' Modin said. ``He's been playing fantastic here in all these games we've been playing at the start.''
The Kings set the tempo and controlled the puck throughout but failed to score on eight power plays.
``Pascal stole it for us,'' coach Gerard Gallant said. ``We owe Pascal for that one.''
Seconds after the Kings' Anze Kopitar lost the puck on a backhand with a wide-open net in front of him late in the first period, the Blue Jackets broke through.
Rick Nash dug the puck off the short boards and tossed a long pass that found Zherdev skating clear of the defense. Zherdev deked to the forehand side then went to the backhand and chipped the puck high into the net over goalie Dan Cloutier's right shoulder for his fourth goal.
Leclaire also turned aside the Kings during 50 seconds of 5-on-3 midway through the second period, twice stopping Rob Blake's slapshots.
``We got out of penalty trouble. Our (penalty) kill was awesome and we got some momentum out of that,'' Leclaire said.
Midway through the third, Modin carried the puck behind the net and fed David Vyborny, who passed back to Modin for a one-timer from the right circle. It was Modin's second goal of the season.
``Hopefully a win like this will get us going,'' Gallant said.
Wild 3, Ducks 2, SO
At St. Paul, Minn., Mikko Koivu scored the lone goal in a shootout to lift Minnesota past Anaheim.
The Wild are 5-0 in overtime and shootouts and 9-1-0 overall, with the lone loss a 2-1 decision to Anaheim on Oct. 20.
Brian Rolston and Nick Schultz scored in regulation for Minnesota, which has won all seven home games this season and 10 straight overall. Andy McDonald and Chris Kunitz scored for Anaheim.
Red Wings 4, Stars 3
At Dallas, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom scored his first two goals of the season to help Detroit hand the Stars their first home loss of the season.
Jiri Hudler and Pavel Datsyuk added goals, and Dominik Hasek stopped 17 shots for the Red Wings. Mike Modano scored twice for Dallas and Jussi Jokinen added a goal, with all three coming on the power play.
Canucks 3, Capitals 2, SO
At Vancouver, British Columbia, Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison scored shootout goals for the Canucks and Roberto Luongo stopped Matt Pettinger and Alexander Ovechkin.
Jan Bulis and Taylor Pyatt had regulation goals for Vancouver, and Ovechkin scored and set up Dainius Zubrus' goal for Washington.