Jared Boll scored for Columbus, and Jiri Novotny was awarded a goal. Novotny was skating in on an empty net late in the game when he was hooked from behind by Eric Brewer, the officials awarding the goal to Novotny – his fourth goal in five games.
Leclaire, who came into the season with one career shutout, has three in his four home starts this season and four on the season. He is one shutout away from tying the team’s season mark of five.
The Blue Jackets improved to 5-3-1, the best start in franchise history, while winning back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Nash’s goal had to rank among the most spectacular goals in the Blue Jackets’ seven-year history.
Ahead 1-0 and on the power play late in the second period, the Blue Jackets worked the puck around the perimeter and had several good scoring chances. Ron Hainsey then tried a slap shot from the blue line that was just wide to the right of the goal cage. Nash played the ricochet off the back boards like Manny Ramirez fielding a ball off the Green Monster, stretching to reach the puck to pull it in and then lifting the shot between his legs and high into the top of the net.
It was his sixth goal in his five-game goal streak and raised his season total to eight.
After scoring the goal, he turned and pounded his gloved fists on the glass while yelling.
Nash had two goals and two assists in his first four games and now has six goals and three assists in the last five.
Between periods Nash said even he was stunned by the shot and said he was unsure how he did it because he was acting on instinct.
Nash had six shots in the second period alone and finished with nine.
Columbus opened the scoring earlier in the second period when Boll, a rookie, notched his second goal after a giveaway by St. Louis defenceman Barret Jackman. Jackman coughed up the puck to Boll who passed to Novotny, then skated to the right dot and went high over goaltender Hannu Toivonen’s right shoulder.
Novotny came into the season with just eight goals and 22 points in 82 career NHL games, but already has four goals and three assists in just nine games with Columbus since signing as a free agent in the off-season.
Toivonen had several spectacular saves for the Blues, stopping three point-blank shots in the second period and another three in the third. He finished with 25 saves.
Notes: The Hanson Brothers from the movie “Slapshot” made a brief appearance during the first intermission. … The Blue Jackets came in leading the NHL in penalty kill at 93.2 per cent and improved on that by killing two more penalties. … Columbus has scored first in seven of its nine games.