COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS Two fans fall from stands
Two men sustained minor injuries falling 15 feet during the Blue Jackets' 2-0 win over Phoenix.
COLUMBUS -- Marc Denis made 23 saves for his second shutout of the season and Mike Sillinger and Sean Pronger scored first-period goals, as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat Phoenix 2-0 on Saturday night to end the Coyotes' four-game winning streak.
Two men sustained minor injuries and were taken to a hospital after falling about 15 feet from the stands onto a concrete walkway during the second period.
In March 2002 at the Nationwide Arena, 13-year-old Brittanie Cecil was struck in the head by a puck and died two days later -- the first fan death from an injury at an NHL game.
The men were "behaving recklessly" when they fell onto a floor in front of the Zamboni storage area in the second period of Columbus' game against Phoenix, spokesman Todd Sharrock said.
Robin Bisesi, a fan seated in the section where the fall occurred, said she saw the two men exchange punches while standing near a railing.
After they struggled for a few seconds, she said, they flipped over the railing headfirst.
The two men did not want to be taken to Grant Medical Center, but medics insisted as a precaution, Sharrock said. He called their injuries "very minor."
Sixth career shutout
Denis had sixth career shutout as Columbus improved to 2-0-1-0 in its last three games after losing five straight.
The Coyotes missed an opportunity to move to .500 for the first time this season and into second place in the Pacific Division.
Phoenix played with third-string goalie Jean-Marc Pelletier, who had only one previous NHL start, a 5-0 loss to Ottawa in 1999 as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Sean Burke, in goal for the all four games in the winning streak, sprained a knee in a 4-1 victory in Detroit on Friday night. Burke, who returned to the Phoenix lineup Dec. 28 after missing 29 games because of a sprained ankle, is expected to be sidelined two-to-three weeks. Backup goalie Brian Boucher took a puck off his knee in warmups Friday and is listed day-to-day.
Sillinger, who has six points in his last three games, converted a two-on-one with Ray Whitney to open the scoring at 10:36, zipping a backhand shot over Pelletier's shoulder.
The Blue Jackets made it 2-0 five minutes later, with Pronger scooping up a rebound in the slot from David Vyborny's attempt and chipping a shot over a sprawled Pelletier at 15:45.