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Zherdev Was Worth the Wait

October 10, 2006|From the Associated Press

Nikolai Zherdev flew around the world to display the great shape he's in.

The 21-year-old Ukrainian proved workouts are overrated by scoring two goals and leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 5-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night at Columbus, Ohio.

Zherdev missed all of preseason camp and the club's first two games, arriving in Columbus on Sunday from Russia after ironing out visa problems.

He scored on the power play only 1:01 in and added another when he jammed in Rick Nash's shot midway through the second period to make it 3-1.

"From June 22, I have been in preparation for this season," Zherdev said through an interpreter. "My team [in the Russian Super League] had already played 20 games. I'm in great condition right now."

San Jose 4, Calgary 1 -- Vesa Toskala made 29 saves, and the Sharks got goals from four scorers at Calgary, Canada, to remain unbeaten.

Toronto 2, Florida 1 -- Mats Sundin and Darcy Tucker scored in a shootout and the Maple Leafs overcame 47 saves from Alex Auld at Toronto.

Kyle Wellwood scored and Andrew Raycroft made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs.

Sundin beat Auld in the tiebreaker with a high shot to the glove side.

Atlanta 1, Tampa Bay 0 -- Kari Lehtonen had 34 saves in his second consecutive shutout, and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored a first-period goal at Tampa, Fla.

Lehtonen has given up two goals in three games this season.

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