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Blue Jackets prevent 3rd road rout by Kings

©Associated Press
October 28, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- When the Kings come to Columbus in October the plan is simple: Fly in, win 7-1, leave.

Tyler Wright made sure that would not happen this time.

He scored two of his three goals in the third period Sunday, leading the Blue Jackets to a 5-1 victory. The Kings had won 7-1 each of the past two years in October.

"L.A. has given us a couple of beatings in the past," forward Geoff Sanderson said. "So we knew that if we played another game like that, they would give us another beating."

Sanderson did not have to worry.

The Blue Jackets jumped ahead 2-0 after the second period. Columbus then scored three times after Adam Deadmarsh put the Kings on the board with just more than 11 minutes left.

Coach Andy Murray said the Blue Jackets played harder.

"I had the opportunity to watch a little bit of their practice yesterday and their level of determination was really high," Murray said. "We also had a great practice yesterday, but somewhere between then and the start of the hockey game we lost that level of determination."

These were Wright's first goals of the season. He completed his hat trick -- second of his career -- with 28.1 seconds left. His last goal extended Columbus' club-record streak of eight straight with a power-play goal.

It was the fifth hat trick in team history.

"It's always nice to get a hat trick," Wright said. "But this is a big win for our hockey club. Getting a hat trick is secondary to us getting two points."

Sanderson and Hannes Hyvonen each added a goal and an assist for Columbus. Blue Jackets goalie Marc Denis had 24 saves, giving the Kings their first road loss of the season.

Columbus took a 2-0 lead for the fourth consecutive game, but did not squander it this time. The Blue Jackets beat Florida 4-1 Oct. 23, but tied Tampa Bay on Wednesday and lost 5-4 to San Jose on Friday.

* * *

BLACKHAWKS 3, SHARKS 2: Sergei Berezin scored twice on first-period power plays and Jocelyn Thibault stopped 34 shots for host Chicago.

San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves in his first game since ending a holdout Tuesday by signing a two-year contract. Tyler Arnason finished with a goal and an assist, and Alex Zhamnov had two assists for the Blackhawks, who snapped a three-game winless streak. Chicago was 3-for-8 on the power play.

Mike Ricci and Vincent Damphousse scored for the Sharks, who had won their past two.

AVALANCHE 3, WILD 3: Host Colorado's Eric Messier had his first two-goal game. Trailing 3-1 in the third, Pascal Dupuis and Antti Laaksonen scored 3:15 apart for Minnesota. Colorado outshot the Wild 45-16, including 5-1 in overtime, but failed to gain ground on Minnesota, the Northwest leader. The Wild have a league-high 14 points to Colorado's 10.

PANTHERS: Forward Jeff Toms was recalled from AHL's San Antonio, where he was the leading scorer with seven points in five games. He is expected to be available today against Tampa Bay.

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