Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 9th
Blue Jackets6
Game 2: Tuesday, December 3rd
Blue Jackets3Final

Rangers 3

(6-9-0, 14 pts)

Blue Jackets 6

(7-5-1, 16 pts)

5:00 PM ET, November 9, 2002

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
NYR 0 3 03
CBJ 3 3 06

R. Nash (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

B. Moore (LW):

H. Hyvonen (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Rookie Nash scores twice against Rangers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Rick Nash got the Columbus Blue Jackets off to a fast start that was marred by an ugly finish.

Rick Nash

The rookie broke out of a scoring drought with two goals in the opening period, and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Rangers 6-3 Saturday night.

"It's nice to get out of it,'' Nash said of the cold streak. "I owe a lot to my linemates. They made some great passes.''

Nash, the overall No. 1 pick in the June draft, had scored the Blue Jackets' first goal of the season on his first shot in the first game, then was limited to four assists over the next 11 games.

After taking a pass from David Vyborny, Nash's wrister from the high slot beat Dan Blackburn on the stick side just 2:31 in.

After Hannes Hyvonen got his third goal of the season, Nash scored on a breakaway, again taking a pass from Vyborny and swooping in to beat Blackburn on the stick side for a 3-0 lead.

All three goals came in the opening 9 minutes, with a standing-room only crowd in excess of 19,000 roaring its approval.

"Obviously, when you get two goals you think hat trick in the back of your head,'' Nash said. "But you can't cheat and start going offensive. You have to worry about the two points. That's how we came out tonight and we're happy about it.''

There were two fights after time expired, with New York's Sandy McCarthy and Tyler Wright squaring off and the Rangers' Krzysztof Oliwa trading punches with Grant Marshall. At one point, assistant coaches for both teams were pointing and shouting at each other through the glass separating the benches.

"At the end it got to be a bit of a circus,'' Columbus coach Dave King said.

Blue Jackets president and general manager Doug MacLean was angry that the Rangers put several enforcers on the ice in the final seconds.

"It was a joke. Those guys were out there for one reason,'' he said. "It's ridiculous.''

There were 13 penalties called after the final horn, including game misconducts against McCarthy and Oliwa. The penalties against both teams totaled 86 minutes.

The fights set Columbus franchise records for penalties and penalty minutes in a period and game for Columbus and in combination with the Rangers.

"We were just trying to keep things calm,'' said Rangers coach Bryan Trottier, who added that the physical players asked to be on the ice at the end. "It's unfortunate -- those things at the end of the game take the focus away from hockey.''

Andrew Cassels had three assists, including a give-and-go on a short-handed goal by Tyler Wright, who has goals in his last four games.

Hannes Hyvonen had a goal and an assist, and David Vyborny two assists. Geoff Sanderson and Sean Pronger added goals for the Blue Jackets, who have scored points in their last five games (4-0-0-1).

"We're running on all cylinders right now,'' Sanderson said.

Cassels extended his points streak to five games. He has five goals and 12 assists in the Blue Jackets' last 10 games.

Columbus tied franchise records for consecutive goals (4) and most goals at Nationwide Arena.

Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak -- rumored to be on the trading block -- had a goal and had an assist each for the Rangers, who lost their third in a row on the road.

The second period was even wilder and more wide open, with the teams combining for six goals.

Sanderson made it 4-0, notching his seventh goal after taking a drop pass from Cassels on a 3-on-1 early in the second period. Sanderson has goals in his last three games and points in his last four.

While that goal was being announced, Rem Murray scored for the Rangers. Denis went behind the net to handle the puck and Murray got to it first, sliding in for the wraparound before Denis could get back in the crease.

Ray Whitney set up the next Columbus goal, taking the puck away near the blue line and feeding Pronger for the one-timer. That gave Whitney points in five consecutive games, including five assists in the last three.

Nedved and Dvorak sandwiched goals around Wright's short-handed goal before a scoreless -- but chippy -- third period.

Game notes

The Blue Jackets improved to 6-3-1-1 at home -- matching their win total a year ago through New Year's Day. ... The Rangers, coming off a two-game home winning streak, started a four-game road trip. ... Columbus D Jaroslav Spacek and Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre were hit by shots and had to be helped off the ice. Neither returned.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press