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Game Recap

Blue Jackets 2, Coyotes 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets 2, Coyotes 0
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Phoenix Coyotes 0

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -The Phoenix Coyotes slashed ticket prices and gave away T-shirts to create a "whiteout" for their home opener.

The Columbus Blue Jackets handed them a shutout instead.

Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger scored goals, Mathieu Garon stopped 36 shots and the Blue Jackets beat Phoenix 2-0 on Saturday night.

A rare Jobing.com Arena sellout of 17,532 went home disappointed.

"It's too bad we couldn't find something to make them erupt like they wanted to," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "I think the players sensed that. We were looking for something to energize them and we didn't get it done."

Nash chilled the crowd scored an even-strength goal midway through the first period and Umberger iced the game with an empty-netter with 17 seconds left.

Phoenix had a chance to tie it early in the third period, when Columbus center Derick Brassard drew blood with a high stick to the forehead of Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, resulting in a 4-minute penalty. But the Blue Jackets killed off that penalty, and the Coyotes didn't threaten again.

The Coyotes' future in the desert has been uncertain since owner Jerry Moyes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May. deflating interest and ticket sales.

Desperate to sell tickets for the opener, the Coyotes slashed prices to $25 for prime tickets in the lower bowl, a reduction of more than $150 for some seats. They also cut prices to $15 in the upper deck, where tickets normally range from $15-$40.

The result was a rare sellout. Fans received white T-shirts when they entered the arena as team officials tried to create a "whiteout."

But the emotion in the building didn't fire up the Coyotes, who fell behind early when Nash scored off a turnover by Phoenix captain Shane Doan.

"We scored the first goal and took some energy out of them," Garon said.

The Coyotes don't have a lot of offensive firepower, but they have adopted a defense-first approach under Tippett, hired when Wayne Gretzky quit nine days before the opener. The Coyotes had allowed a total of five goals in their first three games, two of them victories.

Phoenix's defense was strong against Columbus. But the Coyotes went 0 for 7 on the power play and couldn't cash in on a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities.

"You've got to give them credit," said Doan, who hit a post. "They did a good job of disrupting it, but 5-on-3, we've got to get one. We had two of them and we didn't get one. That's unacceptable."

It was Garon's third career shutout of the Coyotes, his first with Columbus.

Technically, Garon is the Blue Jackets' No. 2 goalie, behind Steve Mason. But Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock doesn't see it that way.

"Backup - I don't like that term," Hitchcock said. "Because Mathieu a year ago was the starter in Edmonton. He came to us because he thinks we're a young team, (and) we've got a chance to win. He wants to be part of something like that."

NOTES: Phoenix outshot Columbus 36-19. ... The Coyotes had won their first four openers at Jobing.com Arena. ... It's the second year in a row the Blue Jackets have come to town for the Coyotes' home opener. Phoenix beat Columbus 3-1 to open last season and swept the four meetings between the clubs by a combined 13-5. ... Tippett and Hitchcock have a history together. Tippett replaced Hitchcock behind the bench in Dallas in 2002.

scoring summary
1st Period
Rick Nash (2) ASST: Kristian Huselius (3), Derick Brassard (1)
1 - 0 CBJ
2nd Period
3rd Period
EN - R.J. Umberger (2) ASST: Rick Nash (5), Rostislav Klesla (2)
2 - 0 CBJ
penalty summary
1st Period
Martin Hanzal  Boarding against  Derek Dorsett
Raffi Torres  Tripping against  Adrian Aucoin
2nd Period
Marc Methot  Interference against  Scottie Upshall
Keith Yandle  Roughing against  Derek Dorsett
Derek Dorsett  Roughing against  Keith Yandle
Rostislav Klesla  Tripping against  Vernon Fiddler
Rick Nash  Hi-sticking against  Matthew Lombardi
Matthew Lombardi  Hooking against  Kristian Huselius
3rd Period
Derick Brassard  Hi stick - double minor against  Keith Yandle
Rostislav Klesla  Holding the stick against  Vernon Fiddler
goalie stats
Mathieu Garon
Mathieu Garon
SA: 36TOI: 59:57
Saves: 36EV: 24 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: 1.000SH: 2 - 2
Ilya Bryzgalov
Ilya Bryzgalov
SA: 18TOI: 59:05
Saves: 17EV: 12 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .944SH: 1 - 1
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