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NHL roundup: Jackets catch Wild in final minute, win in shootout

Randy Mancini 5 Mar 12
NHL: Minnesota Wild at Columbus Blue Jackets
Mar 11, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Minnesota Wild center Connor Dewar (52) skates around the check of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (8) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

March 12, 2022

Zach Werenski scored the tying goal in the final minute of regulation, and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 36 shots, plus two of three in the shootout, as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied for a 3-2 victory over the visiting Minnesota Wild.

Yegor Chinakhov scored the night’s first goal and the only one in the shootout as the Blue Jackets rebounded from Thursday’s disheartening 6-0 loss to the host New York Islanders. They were 0-2-2 in their previous four games.

Columbus, which managed just 13 shots on goal over the final two periods after recording 14 in the first, pulled Merzlikins as it trailed 2-1. Werenski scored amid traffic in front of the net to tie things with 30.4 seconds remaining in regulation.

Chinakhov beat Minnesota’s Kaapo Kahkonen (26 saves) on Columbus’ second shootout attempt. Then Merzlikins stymied Kirill Kaprizov to secure the victory.

Penguins 5, Golden Knights 2

Mark Friedman, Bryan Rust and Evan Rodrigues scored third-period goals to lift Pittsburgh past visiting Vegas.

Rust and Jeff Carter each had a goal and an assist and Mike Matheson also scored for the Penguins, who were 0-1-1 in their previous two. Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo scored and Jonathan Marchessault had two assists for the Golden Knights, who lost their third in a row.

The Golden Knights were without several injured players, including No. 1 goaltender Robin Lehner (lower-body injury), and winger Max Pacioretty did not play in the third period for an undisclosed reason.

Islanders 5, Jets 2

Josh Bailey scored twice as New York pieced together a long-awaited winning streak by beating Winnipeg in Elmont, N.Y.

Brock Nelson scored in the first period and Bailey and Anders Lee scored 40 seconds apart early in the second for the Islanders, who have won back-to-back games for the first time since winning three in a row from Jan. 17-21.

Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler scored for the Jets, who had a two-game winning streak snapped as they remained five points behind the Dallas Stars in the race for the final Western Conference wild-card spot.

Capitals 4, Canucks 3 (OT)

Lars Eller scored 42 seconds into overtime and visiting Washington defeated Vancouver. John Carlson entered the zone two-on-one and passed across to Eller, whose shot eluded goalie Thatcher Demko.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had his second career hat trick for the Capitals, who went 2-0-1 on their Western Canada road swing. Vitek Vanecek made 23 saves for the win.

Bo Horvat scored twice for the Canucks, who had won three straight. Quinn Hughes had a goal and two assists, J.T. Miller added two assists and Demko made 30 saves.

–Field Level Media