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Horton, Blue Jackets blank Coyotes

Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan Horton lit the lamp in his long- awaited Blue Jackets debut and Curtis McElhinney stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the season as Columbus clipped the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-0, on Thursday at Jobing.com Arena.

Columbus signed Horton to a seven-year, $37.1 million contract in July, but the 28-year-old forward underwent shoulder surgery not long after inking the deal, causing him to miss the Blue Jackets' first 40 games this season.

R.J. Umberger registered Columbus' other goal, while McElhinney turned aside a whopping 21 shots in the final frame to help the Blue Jackets hang on for their fourth victory in six tries.

"He was disappointed after the last game," Columbus head coach Todd Richards said of McElhinney, who gave up five goals on 23 shots his last time out. "It was a great response from him."

Mike Smith allowed both goals on 31 shots for the Coyotes, who had a six-game point streak halted.

"It was one of those games that was all about execution and we didn't execute like we needed to," Smith admitted. "It cost us the game."

Horton broke the scoreless deadlock late in the second period after Smith was whistled for delay of game at the 14:55 mark of the stanza.

With Columbus skating on the man-advantage, James Wisniewski one-timed a blast from the left circle that Smith padded away, but Horton was there on the doorstep to pound home the rebound for a 1-0 lead at 15:51.

Umberger doubled the spread with another power-play marker near the midpoint of the third, as he picked up a rebound in between the circles and buried the puck into the back of the net to make it 2-0 at 10:03.

Phoenix peppered McElhinney with shot after shot throughout the final frame, but the 30-year netminder turned aside all comers to keep Columbus in front and secure his fourth career shutout.

Game Notes

The last meeting between these teams also ended in a Columbus victory via shutout, as Sergei Bobrovsky posted 39 saves to blank Phoenix on March 16 of last season ... Horton, Bobrovsky and Jackets defenseman Dalton Prout were all activated from injured reserve earlier Thursday ... Phoenix went 2-0-4 during its six-game point streak, with all six games going past regulation ... Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson suffered an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return ... Columbus went 2-for-4 on the power play, while Phoenix finished 0-for-5 on the man advantage.

01/03 00:16:42 ET

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Schedule

Wednesday, April 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh33rd Prd 12:18 | Box
Columbus2@theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, ROOT, FSN-OH
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Pittsburgh leads series, 2-1.
Anaheim22nd Prd 15:10 | Box
Dallas1@theRink | TV: CNBC, TSN, RDS2, FSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. Anaheim leads series, 2-1.
St. Louis 4/23 9:30 PM ET
Chicago @theRink | TV: NBCSN, CBC, FSN-MW, CSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Four. St. Louis leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1
 
4th
MIA 91
CHA 81
 
Final
ATL 3
MIA 1
Final
CHC 5
ARI 7
Final
COL 10
SFG 12
Final
OAK 0
TEX 3
Final
SEA 5
HOU 3
7th
PIT 2
CIN 4
 
7th
CLE 3
KAN 3
 
7th
WAS 1
ANA 3
 
7th
TOR 7
BAL 9
 
7th
DET 4
CWS 6
 
6th
TAM 3
MIN 4
 
5th
BOS 4
NYY 0
 
7th
NYM 3
STL 1
 
4th
MIL 5
SDP 1
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
4th
MIA 91
CHA 81
 
Half
SAN 51
DAL 56
 
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
3rd
CLB 2
PIT 3
 
2nd
DAL 1
ANA 2
 
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 9
DUR 1