Gagner and Saad score 2 each as Blue Jackets beat Ducks 4-0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella stresses positioning in front of the net. Sam Gagner and Brandon Saad got great results putting those lessons into practice Friday night.
Gagner and Saad each scored twice in the first period as the Blue Jackets beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 35 shots for his 14th career shutout, while the offense provided a season-high in support by converting rebounds into goals.
Gagner scored midway through the first period, cleaning up Scott Hartnell’s missed shot for his first goal since signing with the Blue Jackets as a free agent.
Saad, who made it 2-0 just 21 seconds later, then swatted in his own rebound with 6:10 left for his 10th career multi-goal game and first with the Blue Jackets. Gagner followed up his own miss on the power play 20 seconds later.
“That’s usually where games are kind of decided, if you’re willing to take a few beatings to get to the front of the net and also make sure no one is around yours,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said.
Foligno had three assists to match his career high and tie the team record for assists in a period. Alexander Wennberg had assists on Saad and Gagner’s second goals.
The Blue Jackets finished their four-game West Coast trip with five points.
“I thought we built as we went along,” Gagner said. “Good feeling for us and we got to keep pushing forward.”
Ducks goalie John Gibson made 28 saves before being replaced by Dustin Tokarski midway through the third period. Tokarski stopped all five shots he faced.
Anaheim, shut out for the first time this season and two days after getting a season-high six goals against Nashville, had recorded at least a point in each of its previous four games.
“We didn’t accomplish anything tonight,” said Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who returned after missing the win over Nashville with an upper-body injury. “That was from start to finish. When you give up four goals in the first period, you’re just trying to battle and get something out of it.”
On Saad’s first goal of the game, he unleashed a wrist shot from the high slot that hit the post and careened in. Saad knew it was a goal and started celebrating immediately, but the officials needed a video review to confirm it.
The game was surprisingly heated, with Blue Jackets RW Josh Anderson and Ducks D Josh Manson fighting 1:50 into the first period.
Foligno bowled over Gibson in the second period, with the goaltender taking visible offense to the collision. Anderson lost his footing and plowed into Gibson in the third period, leading to more jawing.
“We think that defines a game, it defines who you are as a team as far as how you protect your blue and how you try to get into the opposing team’s blue,” Tortorella said. We’re not trying to hit the goalie. We’re trying to do it the right way.”
NOTES: The Blue Jackets scored four goals in a period for the 14th time in franchise history, having last done so against Chicago in March 2015. ... After scoring three power-play goals against Nashville on Wednesday, the Ducks were 0 for 4 with the man-advantage.
Blue Jackets: Host Dallas on Monday night.
Ducks: At Los Angeles on Monday night.