Anaheim Edges Out Columbus 4-3

After a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Ducks are at 2-2-0 halfway through their eight game road trip. 

Although it looked like the game could go into overtime, Corey Perry took advantage of a fortuitous bounce of the puck and got the game winning goal with less than 2:30 to play.    A forced turnover and a bouncing puck off the end boards came directly to Perry, who somehow was left unimpeded on the ice.  Perry patiently waited and put his shot over a sprawling Sergei Bobrovsky, then jubilantly celebrated on his knees.

“It was one of those ones that takes a weird hop and comes right to me,” said Perry.  “If it didn’t go in I’d probably hear it from the bench. I knew what I had to do with it once I got by (Bobrovsky).”

The game was a back and forth affair and could have gone either team's way. 

Blake Comeau scored at 12:56 of the first period against Frederik Andersen, who got his second start in as many games. 

The Ducks came back with second period goals from Ryan Getzlaf and Peter Holland, who was recalled earlier in the day from Norfolk.   It was their first lead of the game, but that was squandered when Artem Anisimov put in a short handed goal at 12:12 to tie up the game.

The power play, which has eluded Anaheim for the majority of the season, was finally successful.  Emerson Etem put Anaheim back ahead at 1:51 of the third period, putting in Teemu Selanne's rebound.  It was a goal that they needed desperately.

That was the only goal the Ducks were able to score on an extended five minute power play that was a result of Brandon Dubinsky knocking Saku Koivu out of the game late in the second period.  Dubinsky made a late hit on Koivu, getting his shoulder into Koivu's head and knocking him silly.  Koivu needed assistance getting off the ice and did not return to the game.  He was later sent back to Anaheim to be evaluated further by team doctors, which is NHL protocol. 

“I don’t agree with the call but the refs see it at game speed and have to make the call,” said Dubinsky, who will not be further penalized by the league for the play. “ I understand the league is trying to crack down on hits to the head. I don’t think it was. It's a game, we're all competitive and you want to make sure everybody's safe. Obviously I feel bad that Koivu didn’t return to play."

Despite losing one of their best players on the ice, the Blue Jackets continued to press and Anisimov tied up the game once more at 8:24.  

Even with Perry's go ahead goal, the Blue Jackets made it a nail biter by finishing up on their only power play of the game.  Pulling Bobrovsky for the extra attacker, Columbus had a 6 on 4 advantage for the final 1:27 of the period.

The Blue Jackets were held to just one shot on goal and the Ducks and Andersen were able to hold on for their second win in a row.

Anaheim now heads to Philadelphia to meet up with the Flyers on Tuesday.

In other notes:  The Ducks were without Mathieu Perreault, who sprained his wrist on Friday.  He might be back in the line up on Tuesday.  Dustin Penner is skating again with the team and could be back in the line up either Tuesday or Thursday.  

In light of Koivu's injury, Anaheim recalled Rickard Rakell from Norfolk.

About Karen Francis

Just a diehard Ducks fan since 1995, when the team filled the hockey shaped vacuum in my heart.