Right from the start you knew the Ducks were not going to end up with the same result as their loss on Wednesday to the Nashville Predators.
After the 4-1 loss, goaltender Jonas Hiller aptly summed up the situation by stating that the players expected good things to happen rather than work for it to happen. That was not the case against Columbus.
The Ducks came out ready to go to work and do the things that make them successful, as coach Randy Carlyle is fond of saying. It paid off in a 6-0 shut out, the largest margin of victory for the Ducks at home since 1996.
The power play, which had been primarily dormant for the Ducks, finally found itself again. Once the door opened up, the power play goals kept coming.
Teemu Selanne got the games first two goals on the power play at 5:48 of the first period and 7:02 of the second period. Selanne had not scored since December 8, struggling with groin issues for most of the month of December. He could have had a third one, and at 40, he would have joined an elite group of hat tricks for 40 year olds. Knowing Selanne, he’ll have one before the end of the season.
“My timing has been better lately,” Selanne said. “My own game, I haven’t really gotten the bounces that I have wanted lately. That is why is was a good feeling to get a couple in.”
The Ducks were 75% on the power play, scoring on three out of four chances. They gave up only three chances and scored short handed on one of those, adding insult to injury to the Blue Jackets squad.
Matt Beleskey made it 3-0 at 13:02 of the second period. When Bobby Ryan scored the first of his two goals at 1:26 of the third it was time to say goodbye to Steve Mason. Mason, who stopped 47 of 50 shots the last time the two teams met, could not stop the onslaught faced this time.
Mathieu Garon fared no better, giving up two more goals, including Ryan’s second at 7:55 on the power play. Brandon McMillan’s shorthanded goal at 15:22 was his third goal of the year. It was also his fourth point in the past five games, making him one of the pleasanter surprises this season for Anaheim.
Hiller, who has had to work mightily in the past few games, could actually breathe a sigh of relief as his team made sure that the victory was theirs without relying on their netminder. Of course stopping all 27 shots for his third shut out this season certainly helped, too.
“The feeling was great in the third period,” said Ryan. “Guys were loose. You need that sometimes, games like that to boost some confidence. Hopefully it will get the train flowing offensively. “
The Ducks now get to look forward to a practice in front of season ticket holders and then a skills competition in front of season ticket holders and general public. That should keep the mood light and loose before Sunday’s game against the San Jose Sharks.
In the meantime, the Blue Jackets get to lick their wounds and see if they can rebound with a strong effort against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday evening.
In other notes: Jason Blake was back in the line up after missing a couple games with a shoulder injury.