The Ducks keep rolling. Even when they have a hiccup here and there, they manage to regroup, recover and end up with two points at the end of an evening.
The latest two points came in a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was their fifth win a row and it did not come easily.
After returning home from a six game road trip, Anaheim had a rough start against Columbus. Their legs were not there and the Blue Jackets dominated for most of the first period. Fortunately Jonas Hiller, who was back in net 10 days after having strained his groin against Dallas, was up to the task and kept the Ducks in the game until they could wake up.
Vinny Prospal got the Blue Jackets on the board at 3:30, with an assist to Prospal's face. It could easily have been a much higher score, but Hiller was motivated to be in top form. A very successful Viktor Fasth breathing down Hiller's neck is good motivation.
"We could have been down 4-0 after the first 10 minutes, but (Hiller) kept us in there until we battled back," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "His athleticism was great. Some of the saves he made, he shouldn't have made. But he did, and that was what we saw last year from January through March, and that's what makes him a great goaltender."
In the middle of the first period, Peter Holland was called for an interference penalty. The Blue Jackets got a questionable call as time was winding down on the power play, so both teams spent the last :23 seconds playing 4 on 4.
When Holland was sprung from the penalty box, Ben Lovejoy and Bobby Ryan did a great job getting the puck to Holland. Holland took off down the ice and made a beauty of a shot that landed behind Igor Bobrovsky. Tie game.
:21 seconds later, Ryan Getzlaf got a puck through traffic and through Corey Perry's legs to make it 2-1 at 16:17.
It was clear the Ducks finally woke up.
"They paly a hard game, dump the puck into the zone and get after it," said Perry. "We weren't ready the first ten minutes, but then we found our legs."
And as usual, the Ducks did not panic.
Holland called it "a quiet confidence." The kind of confidence that you know that even if you are down, you can still come back and you will come back.
Columbus gave the Ducks a good run for their money, though. They continued to push hard and dominate for parts of the remaining game. Anaheim stood firm, though.
Perry got his third of the year on the power play at 8:44 of the third period to give the Ducks a two goal lead. They needed it. Derrick Brassard made it 3-2 at 12:06 and the Ducks could not sit back.
In the end, they held on for the regulation win, despite Perry being in the box late and Columbus having a 6 on 4 advantage with an empty net at the other end.
"We knew it was going to be a tough test coming off of a successful road trip," said Perry. "It’s not easy when you come home and you have to play two nights later. We did what we had to do tonight and we got away with two points."
Now after winning five in a row, the Ducks will have five days off to recover a bit before their next game against Colorado on Sunday.
Hopefully Cam Fowler will be able to rejoin the line up. Fowler is now skating again with the team after suffering a mild concussion on February 2.