Ducks stay hot, beat Blue Jackets 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Anaheim Ducks’ penalty kill has been able to keep opponents in check.
They can score goals as well as they can prevent them, a knack they showed against the Columbus Blue Jackets to bolster Anaheim’s playoff chances.
Andrew Cogliano and Josh Manson scored 1:27 apart in the second period and the Ducks defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2 on Friday night.
Cogliano put Anaheim in front 2-1 at 11:17 with his 15th short-handed goal for the Ducks, one shy of tying Paul Kariya’s team record. Artemi Panarin couldn’t collect a pass by Pierre-Luc Dubois from the neutral zone back into the Columbus end while under pressure from Cogliano, giving the Anaheim forward a breakaway. He beat Sergei Bobrovsky between his legs.
It was the Ducks’ ninth short-handed goal this season. Anaheim is tied with Florida and Buffalo for the NHL lead.
Manson scored shortly after leaving the penalty box, making it 3-1 at 12:44. Collecting Francois Beauchemin’s clearance at the Columbus blue line, Manson scored on the breakaway with a backhand by faking Bobrovsky into doing the splits.
“It’s like what you dream about when you’re in the penalty box,” said Manson, who scored his fifth goal.
The Ducks have killed off 29 of 30 penalties in their last 10 games, the best mark in the NHL since Feb. 9. That includes 20 straight kills, and they kept the Blue Jackets scoreless on their two power-play chances.
“It’s getting to the time of the season where you can’t make many mistakes and you need to be good. You need to be good every night, so I think we’re all holding ourselves to a little bit higher standard and putting a little pressure on ourselves ’cause we want to have a good run here,” Ducks goalie John Gibson said.
Gibson made 34 saves after missing three games with a lower-body injury. Rickard Rakell and Cam Fowler each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
Sonny Milano and Zach Werenski scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three in a row on the road. Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots.
Anaheim holds the second wild card in the Western Conference and is one point behind Los Angeles for third place in the Pacific Division.
Columbus is tied with Carolina for the second wild card in the East and is seven points behind Pittsburgh for third in the Metropolitan Division.
Milano scored first for the Blue Jackets at 12:28 of the first period, but Rakell tied it 1:38 later with a backhand for his fourth goal in two games.
Fowler gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead at 16:05 of the third, and Werenski scored at 17:43 to make it 4-2.
Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella couldn’t explain the brief breakdown on the power play in the second. Special-teams issues have been a recurring trend for Columbus, which gave up decisive power-play and short-handed goals in its loss at the Los Angeles Kings to open a three-game California road trip.
“We played good enough to lose, and in that little section of the game, that minute or so in the game . I thought we were playing really well to that point. Yeah, I don’t know what else to tell you. That changes games,” Tortorella said.
NOTES: Ducks C Ryan Getzlaf missed the game with the flu. ... Blue Jackets C Alexander Wennberg did not play because of an upper-body injury. ... Chris Kelly had one shot and played 9:27 in his Anaheim debut. Kelly signed with the Ducks as a free agent Monday after helping Canada win the bronze medal at the Pyeongchang Olympics. ... Panarin’s point streak ended at six games.
Blue Jackets: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.
Ducks: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
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