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September 2019
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Captain Rick Nash shows why he is the leader; takes over game as Jackets rally to win

Columbus, Ohio– The Columbus Blue Jackets looked to the captain and leader to get them to the promised land; a comeback victory.

And what has become routine, Rick Nash stole the show and the game from the Minnesota Wild.

Nash scored 2 third-period goals in his return from an injury that  kept him out of action for four games and Columbus overcame a two-goal deficit Friday night to hand a devastating blow to the Minnesota Wild’s playoff hopes, 4-2 before a crowd of 16,419 at Nationwide Arena.

Minnesota came into the game in 11th place in the Western Conference behind eighth-place Detroit in the playoff race. Instead of gaining two points for winning, they gained nothing after blowing a 2-0 lead in the second period and 2-1 lead with 9 minutes left in regulation.

Rick Nash scores game-winner (cbj)

Kris Russell scored 7th goal (cbj)

Trailing 2-1 with 8:58 to go, Columbus pulled even on a play that left the Wild players and team upset. Kristian Huselius left a pass for Kris Russell, who was following him on the play, and his hard slap shot past R.J. Umberger, who was providing traffic in front of  goalie Josh Harding, who was shaky all night in goal. And Umberger’s traffic caused Harding to miss the puck, tie game 2-2.

Wild head coach Todd Richards says that, “Umberger skated into the crease.” But the referees said that Wild defenseman Nick Schultz made contact with Umberger pushing him into goalie area.

The Blue Jackets scored so quickly :27 seconds later, that the game tying goal had not been announced over the public address system. Rick Nash took a pass from Jakub Voracek in the neutral zone while Wild defenseman Cam Barker left his area to get a replacement stick from the bench, Nash skated in on the shaky Harding, faked and lifted a little soft shot under the goalie’s leg pads and the Blue Jackets were up 3-2. What looked like sure defeat, ended up being victory number 29 for the home team.

Nash then scored on an empty-netter with :38 seconds left to seal the deal officially.

Columbus has now won four of their last five games while the Wild has lost 2 in a row.

SOUNDS FROM THE POST GAME LOCKER ROOM (to listen to and audio file, just click the number)

44 624 Antii Miettinen Minnesota Rw Up 2-0 did he think they had the game won

44 625 Antii Miettinen Minnesota Rw What happened in that 3rd period

44 626 Antii Miettinen Minnesota Rw No lead is safe in the wide-open NHL

44 631 Mathieu Garon Columbus Goalie Kept his team in the game only giving up 2 goals

44 633 Kris Russell Columbus Defenseman On Mathieu Garon being undefeated at home

44 634 Kris Russell Columbus Defenseman On his goal coming on a delayed penalty

44 636 Kris Russell Columbus Defenseman Was Minnesota Desperate for a win

44 638 Rick Nash Columbus Lw Team is playing motivated why so late

44 639 Rick Nash Columbus Lw 3rd Period was the Jackets good luck charm this time

44 640 Rick Nash Columbus Lw What was the turning point Columbus seemed to be the better team all night

GAME NOTES

* Minnesota is 7-6-4 in the second half of back-to-back games.

* The Blue Jackets are 16-15-4 vs. the Wild, 12-4-1 in Columbus.

* Columbus is 1-15 in its last 16 power plays.

* Both clubs joined the NHL in the 2000-2001 season and Columbus is 276-356-33-62 with one playoff berth and Minnesota is 327-285-55-59 with 3 trips to the playoffs.

* Columbus is 14-11-2 the past 27 games overall after going 3-14-7 the previous 24 games.

* The Blue Jackets have posted a 10-5-4 mark in its past 19 home games after going 2-4-1 in the previous seven contests.

* Goalie Mathieu Garon stopped 18-of-20 shots on Friday night to give him wins in three-straight games for the first time since January 7-10 of this year.

He has allowed two goals or fewer in 12 of his last 17 decisions.

He has posted an 8-4-1 record his past 12 decisions after 0-4-3 the previous decisions.

He is 6-0-3 with a 1.99 goals against average and .967 save percentage in his nine starts this season on home ice, allowing two or fewer goals in eight of those nine games.

Bellotti leaves Oregon Athletic Director’s position for ESPN

compiled from Oregon Athletics information and staff and wire reports

Mike Bellotti has been Oregon’s athletic director less than a year, but is leaving the school he loves to become a part of ESPN as a college football analyst. He was head football coach at Oregon for 14 seasons before taking over as AD last July. His resignation is effective April 5.

The 59-year old Bellotti took over as the successor to Pat Kilkenny and then Chip Kelly was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach. Last season under Kelly, the Ducks went 10-3, winning their first Pac-10 title since 2001 and earned their first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1995, but lost to Ohio State.

Mike Bellotti as coach of the Ducks (U of Oregon)

Bellotti’s resignation came as a complete surprise Friday at a hastily called news conference. He says it’s time for a career change.

His short tenure as athletic director has been one of controversy and full of problems galore. Earlier in the week, he fired men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent due to losing and declining attendance.

The football program is in a dissaray with quarterback Jeremiah Masoli being suspended for the 2010 season after pleading guilty to a second-degree burglary charge.

Running back LaMichael James, pleaded guilty to an unrelated harassment charge and was suspended by coach Chip Kelly last week for the season opener September 4.

During the 2009 season, running back LaGarrrette Blount punched a Boise State player after the opening game and was suspended for the season, but returned late in the season after meeting certain academic and behavorial requirements.

Mike Bellotti was quite successful as Oregon’s football coach. He went 116-55 with the Ducks and took the team to 12 bowls games. In 2001, Oregon won 11 games, including a 38-16

Bristol Pole goes to Joey Logano his first career pole

compiled from staff and wire reports

Joey Logano with some fast times in practice Friday, has captured the first pole of his career at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Logano posted a lap at 124.630 mph in his Toyota to earn the first starting spot for Sunday’s race. His previous best qualifying was fifth at Darlington last season.

Joey Logano NASCAR (JGR)

Kurt Busch, winner of the last NASCAR race March 7 in Atlanta, qualified second with a lap at 123.857 in his Dodge. Busch credits his fast start in 2010 to his new crew chief Steve Addington, who helped lead his brother, Kyle Busch to a pair of wins at Bristol last year. Kurt Busch is a five-time winner at Bristol, but hasn’t been to Victory Lane at the Tennessee track since 2006.

Dave Blaney, who qualified fourth at Bristol in August 2009, has moved up to third this year at 123.849.

Says Logano, “I’ve always been fast here and I’ve done everything but have an uneventful race.”

NBA NEWS: Ilgauskas ready to return to Cavaliers

compiled from staff and wire reports

Zydrunas Ilgauskas is eager to return to the Cavs (nba)

Center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was back in the Cleveland area on Friday, three days before he is eligible to re-sign with the Cavaliers. He was working out in a suburban gym but gave no details of his future to the media.

Cleveland traded Ilgauskas to Washington at the NBA trade deadline as part of a three-team deal that brought Antawn Jamison and Sebastian Telfair to Cleveland. His contract was bought out by the Wizards, making him a free agent.

His agent, Herb Rudoy says that he and Zydrunas will be meeting with Cleveland general manager Danny Ferry this coming week about the 7’3 veteran returning to the only team he has played for, the Cavaliers.

James hits 15,000 point plateau; Cavs get past injury-depleted Bulls.

compiled from staff and wire reports

LeBron James sets another record (nba)

LeBron James put on a show for the Chicago fans in the United Center on Friday night. James became the youngest player to  score 15,000 career points, breaking Kobe Bryant’s record by more than two years and the Cavaliers pulled away late to beat the Bulls 92-85 for their 12th win in 13 games.

LeBron James reached the milestone at 25 years, 79 days, and accomplished it in his 540th game. Kobe Bryant was 27 years, 136 days and played in his 657th game for the Los Angeles Lakers.

James said, “breaking that record is humbling. It’s a result of all the hard work and time I spend improving my game.”

LeBron scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, giving him 15,026 in his career and he pulled down 11 rebounds. He put the Bulls away singlehandedly by scoring seven in a row late in the game as Cleveland upped its lead to 10.

Mo Williams scored 18 points for Cleveland, who continues to play well without injured center Shaquille O’Neal. They are an outstanding 10-1 since O’Neal has been out suffering from a thumb injury.

The Bulls tried to stay close in the game without their three best players who are injured: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah. Rookies Taj Gibson with 20 points, 13 rebounds and James Johnson with 16 points. The Bulls are on a 10-game losing streak which matches their longest such streak since November 2001.

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