Final OT

Series (Game 3 of 4)

Edmonton leads 2-0

Game 1: Thursday, October 30th
Blue Jackets3Final
OT
Oilers4
Game 2: Tuesday, November 25th
Oilers3Final
OT
Blue Jackets3
Game 3: Sunday, January 18th
Oilers4Final
OT
Blue Jackets4
Game 4: Tuesday, March 16th
Blue Jackets2Final
Oilers3

Oilers 4

(18-20-1, 45 pts)

Blue Jackets 4

(12-24-3, 34 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 18, 2004

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 OT T
EDM 1 2 1 04
CBJ 1 2 1 04

D. Vyborny (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

S. Staios (Oilers - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

R. Nash (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Zherdev has points in four straight games

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- These days it seems odd when Rick Nash only scores once.

Columbus' second-year star scored his NHL-leading 28th goal -- and came close to at least another one or two -- to help the Blue Jackets tie the Edmonton Oilers 4-4 on Sunday night.

"I thought we should have won the game 7-3 or 7-4," Blue Jackets interim coach Gerard Gallant said. "They had some luck tonight and we didn't."

Nash, featured in the current issue of Sports Illustrated as one of the NHL's budding stars, had chances to score a few more times.

"I don't enjoy the 0-0 games," he said with a grin. "I find it exciting and it's exciting for the fans. A lot of people are saying the game doesn't have enough offense, and when you see games like this, it's fun to watch and I'm sure that the fans love it. And, obviously, the players love playing those types of game."

The puck was behind Nash after he took a pass from David Vyborny a minute into the third period. Nash regained control by tapping the puck back between his skates with a defenseman draped on his back before jamming it past goaltender Ty Conklin to give Columbus a 4-3 lead.

"It was a nice play by Vyborny and I just had to try to bring it up on my forehand," Nash said. "Everybody can do it in the NHL. It's just a quick move up to your forehand. It's really not that hard."

The Oilers' Eric Brewer scored his second goal of the season 5:45 into the third to tie it.

Even Brewer came away impressed with Nash.

"He's a heck of a player," Brewer said. "He's obviously found where he can play well. He's in front of the net all the time, which makes a huge difference. He's a big body that skates well."

There were plenty of prime scoring chances the rest of the way -- the best coming when Nash fed fellow 19-year-old Nikolai Zherdev and his shot was just wide with 41 seconds left in overtime.

Mike York, Ethan Moreau and Brad Isbister also had goals for Edmonton, while Steve Staios matched his career high with three points and Radek Dvorak added two assists.

Vyborny also tied a career high with three points on a goal and two assists. Zherdev added his sixth goal and Tyler Wright had his third of the season for the Blue Jackets.

Goals came in bunches throughout the game, with the teams trading goals in a little more than a minute during the opening period.

Vyborny got his 13th off a centering pass from behind the goal line from Nash. York then circled around the net and slipped a backhander past Columbus goaltender Marc Denis for his 15th of the season.

The Blue Jackets built a 3-1 lead on goals by Wright and Zherdev's sixth -- the latter coming on a five-on-three advantage.

The Oilers pulled even with two goals within 15 seconds later in the period. Moreau redirected a shot in the slot for his ninth goal before Isbister scored a quick goal on Dvorak's pretty no-look, behind-the-back feed from behind the net.

"I'll take the point," Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish said. "We fought back and it's a big point after being down 3-1."

The Blue Jackets had 1:38 with a two-man advantage in the second period, then started the third with another five-on-three on which Nash scored.

Brewer's one-timer from the right dot after a cross-ice pass from Ales Hemsky evened it for the final time.

Nash's drive from just inside the blue line evaded Conklin but hit the far post with 10:08 left in regulation.

"It's been a long time for a 19-year-old kid to play like that," Wright said. "It's exciting to watch these guys and what they do, what they try, the confidence that they have to be able to try these things. Being an older player, it's just a treat."

Game notes


Columbus D Darryl Sydor was slammed into the boards midway through the third period and needed help to leave the ice. ... It was the sixth sellout of the season for the Blue Jackets. ... Edmonton remained winless in the second game of back-to-backs (0-4-2-1). ... Zherdev extended his points streak to four games (3-3-6).

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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