Originally created 04/13/02

Blue Jackets 5, Thrashers 4, OT



COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jaroslav Spacek scored a power-play goal 29 seconds into overtime as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4 Friday night.

Derrick Walser scored his first NHL goal and Kevin Dineen may have scored his last for the Blue Jackets, who were 1-8-0-1 in their last 10 games. Grant Marshall added a goal and two assists.

After the game, the Blue Jackets came back on the ice and presented fans with autographed game jerseys. Dineen thanked the crowd for their support and promised "a playoff ride in the near future." A banner reading "Fans. No. 1" was then raised.

Dineen carried his infant son around the ice.

A highlights video briefly showed a tribute to Brittanie Cecil, the 13-year-old girl who died after being struck by a puck at a Blue Jackets game last month.

Atlanta pulled even with 3:37 left in regulation when Tony Hrkac scored on a penalty shot. The shot was awarded when the Blue Jackets' Ray Whitney was called for throwing a stick during a Thrashers' flurry.

In the overtime, Whitney got the puck to Mike Sillinger on 2-on-1 breakaway with Sillinger feeding Spacek through the slot for the game-winner. Spacek, acquired in a draft-day trade, scored his second goal for the Blue Jackets and fifth overall this season.

The Blue Jackets were on the power play after the Thrashers' Dany Heatley was whistled for hooking at the 19:38 mark of the third.

The Blue Jackets, playing before their 56th consecutive sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena, ended a three-game losing skid in their final home game. The game matched the teams with the two worst records in the league.

Marc Denis won in goal for Columbus for the first time since Feb. 8, a 3-2 victory at Detroit. He had lost his last six games at home, including two in overtime.

Walser, a rookie playing in just his second game, scored 1:25 into the second period to give Columbus a 2-1 lead.

The 38-year-old Dineen had missed the last six games with a rib injury. Amid rumors that he will likely retire after the season, he said earlier in the week he was rehabbing in the hopes of playing at least one more game this season. He came off the injured list just before the game and wasn't even listed in the pregame notes.

Late in the second period, he skated down the right wing, lost the puck to teammate Jody Shelley, and then regained it in the high slot. He had to spin completely around to get off the shot, flipping it through traffic for his fifth goal of the season and the 355th of his 18-year career with Hartford, Philadelphia, Carolina, Ottawa and Columbus.

Atlanta pulled within 3-2 just 57 seconds later on Frantisek Kaberle's slap shot from the left boards, his fifth goal of the year.

Heatley, the front-runner to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year, clanged a short-handed shot that would have tied it at 3 with 7 minutes remaining.

Seconds later, Marshall scored his 15th on a cross-crease pass from Whitney on the power play to make it 4-2, but the Thrashers came right back on Yannick Tremblay's ninth goal of the season with 4:10 remaining and then tied it on the penalty shot.

Columbus had given up the first goal in its last 10 games. Yuri Butsayev made it 11 in a row when he scored off a rebound at the 11:22 mark of the first period. Patrik Stefan's slap shot from the right wing was stopped by Denis, but the rebound dribbled out to Butsayev in the slot. He controlled the puck with his back skate and then slid it past Denis for his second goal of the season.

Columbus drew even on Tyler Wright's 13th goal of the year.

Notes: Columbus GM Doug MacLean did not attend the game. His father, Jim, died Thursday night in Prince Edward Island and he traveled north to assist with funeral arrangements. ... Atlanta had won its only previous trip to Columbus. ... Blue Jackets LW Serge Aubin returned to the lineup after missing the last game to attend the funeral of his father-in-law.