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Wilson scores and Norrena makes 17 stops as Blue Jackets end three-game slide

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The last two times the Blue Jackets hosted the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus was run out of its own building.

The Blue Jackets were determined not to let that happen again.

Clay Wilson had a goal and his first assist in his second NHL game to lead Columbus to a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

Wilson, David Vyborny and Michael Peca scored in the third period after Joakim Lindstrom put Columbus ahead in the first period.

The Blackhawks won their last two visits to Columbus 7-2 and 6-3. This time they managed only 17 shots.

Fredrik Norrena had his second shutout of the season for the Blue Jackets, who ended a three-game losing streak.

"They crushed us the last couple of games at home," Norrena said. "We underestimated them for some reason. It's the two toughest games I've had all year. Tonight we slowed them down."

Columbus had a 12-4 shot advantage through the first 20 minutes, holding Chicago without a shot for more than 11 minutes.

"We didn't have too many shots, too many good scoring chances for whatever reason," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "To get as few a shots as we did is frustrating. It's tough to take now. It was a big game."

Chicago is six points out of the final playoff spot with five games to play.

Wilson, a defenceman called up Tuesday from Syracuse of the American Hockey League, assisted on the power-play goal by Lindstrom at 4:49 of the second and he made it 2-0 off a centring pass from Nikolai Zherdev at 7:13 of the third.

"It's unbelievable," Wilson said. "I came up here not expecting too much, just trying to keep it simple.

"Luckily, tonight went well. (Zherdev) made a nice pass to me in the slot. I closed my eyes and the puck went in. It's just a great feeling. It's something you wait your whole life for. The first period I was nervous but as the game went along I was more comfortable."

Vyborny scored 1:26 later when his shot went off a Chicago player and past Nikolai Khabibulin. Peca scored at 11:57 with each team down a man.

"We've been up and down for a while, playing a good period here and a bad period there," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. "Finally, tonight we put three periods together and it shows what we can do when we play our style."

Khabibulin had 32 saves.

"The first four minutes we played pretty good, came out strong," Savard said. "Then we took some bad penalties, gave them the momentum and never recovered."

Notes: Chicago C Robert Lang (sore back) played but D Cam Barker (concussion) was scratched The Blue Jackets had six regulars out because of injuries: G Pascal Leclaire (head), D Kris Russell (groin), D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (upper body), RW Jared Boll (hip), RW Dan Fritsche (broken hand) and LW Fredrik Modin (concussion) Columbus was 1-for-5 on the power play; Chicago 1-for-3 Columbus leads the season series 4-3 with the final meeting Sunday in Chicago.


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