GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Despite a one-goal margin of victory, Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock thought his team deserved more.
The win was the Jackets' third in four games against Phoenix and moved Columbus to within one point of Phoenix in the race for a playoff spot.
"With the way we played, we deserved to be up more than just 2-1," Hitchcock said. "Nothing comes easy for this team. We have to fight and claw for everything."
The final seconds were not easy for Columbus.
The Coyotes had an opportunity to tie late in the game. The Jackets' Jared Boll went off for holding with 1:32 remaining. Columbus goalie Fredrik Norrena preserved the win with a brilliant glove save against Steve Reinprecht in the closing seconds.
"I tried to pull it with my backhand and get it upstairs," Reinprecht said. "I was in pretty tight but he got a good glove on it. It was a nice save."
Norrena stopped 26 shots for his seventh victory of the season.
Strong defense in the slot and around Norrena keyed the Columbus win.
"This was a solid team effort," he said. "We did get strong play in front of the net and when that happens, it makes it easier to make the save."
The Blue Jackets started the game by scoring two goals with their first seven shots.
Early in the opening period, and with the Coyotes on the power play, Peter Mueller could not hold a pass at the right point. Chimera raced to center ice, scooped up the loose puck, skated down the left side and beat Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov at 4:20.
Then skating with a 5-on-3 advantage, Zherdev picked up his 22nd of the season on a rebound at 9:09. The goal gave Columbus a 2-0 lead.
"We played a very structured game," Chimera said. "Defensively, we did not give them too much and really limited their good chances."
Phoenix cut it to 2-1 midway through the middle period when Mike York scored on the power play at 12:56. For York, that goal was his first since scoring at San Jose on Dec. 20, and his sixth on the season.
The loss left Phoenix 11-12-2 on home ice.
"It just seems like we keep digging ourselves in holes now at home, and that's not good," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We need to figure out a way to come out quicker and get ahead."
|Jason Chimera (25) is congratulated after he scores an early goal to jump-start Columbus. (AP)|
|Columbus (26-23-7) «||2||0||0||2|
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|05:20||Short - Jason Chimera (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Manny Malhotra, Jan Hejda|
|09:09||Power Play - Nikolai Zherdev (22), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ron Hainsey, Jiri Novotny|
|12:56||Power Play - Mike York (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Steve Reinprecht, Peter Mueller|
|03:41||Vyborny, 2 min, Hooking|
|06:09||Tollefsen, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|06:09||Weller, 2 min, Boarding|
|06:09||Weller, 10 min, Match Penalty|
|08:58||Ballard, 2 min, Kneeing|
|13:26||Perrault, 2 min, Slashing|
|13:26||Malhotra, 2 min, Slashing|
|01:50||Boll, 2 min, Slashing|
|06:13||Malhotra, 2 min, Hooking|
|10:58||Hejda, 2 min, Hooking|
|14:27||Boynton, 2 min, Hooking|
|14:45||Nash, 2 min, Interference|
|02:54||Boynton, 2 min, Boarding|
|03:43||Vyborny, 2 min, Tripping|
|18:28||Boll, 2 min, Holding|
|Shots On Goal|
|Attendance - 13918|
|Referees - Eric Furlatt, Gord Dwyer|
|Linesmen - Pierre Racicot, Mark Wheler|