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Associated Press
10/9/2006 10:24:36 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Nikolai Zherdev flew around the world to display the great shape he's in.

The 21-year-old Ukrainian proved pre-season 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.

Zherdev missed all of pre-season 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 just 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.''

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=180327&hubname=nhl
 
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