It's safe to say Corey Perry has the Columbus Blue Jackets' number.
Perry recorded his fifth career hat trick – and second against Columbus this season – in a 5-3 win Sunday night at Nationwide Arena that helped Anaheim renew its last-ditch postseason run.
Anaheim (22-24-9) moved to 1-0-1 on its current eight-game road swing – and within nine points of the final playoff position. Jason Blake and Bobby Ryan added goals, Ryan Getzlaf provided a trio of assists and Jonas Hiller made 24 saves on his 30th birthday for his 19th win of the season.
"It's just the way it bounces, I guess," Perry said of his three-goal night. "I had a lot of shots. They were bound to find a way in. I played with a couple good linemates tonight, too. They were finding me. We had a lot of chances together."
Back home after a 3-1 victory in Minnesota on Saturday, Columbus (16-34-6) could not build on that momentum against the Ducks.
In fact, it took less than a minute for Anaheim to take the lead.
Just 46 seconds into the game, a point shot from Lubomir Visnovsky caromed into the slot onto Perry's stick, who handled skillfully, turned and blasted it across Mason and into the top right corner for his team-leading 24th of the season.
"It was important, especially because they played last night, to get a lead," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "When you get a lead, and they played last night, it's a little easier to make them quit."
Perry struck again, this time on a power play at 16:15. With Ryan Johansen off for hooking, Perry moved the puck from the right boards up to Getzlaf, who was waiting at the point. Perry moved towards goal, received the return from Getzlaf and slotted in near-post past Mason.
"There were lots of rebounds and we were jumping on them," Perry said. "We outworked their PK and that's what we need to do every night."
Columbus cut the lead in half with a man-advantage tally of its own 86 seconds later. Fedor Tyutin scored his fourth of the year on a one-timer with Sheldon Brookbank off for roughing. Jeff Carter delivered a seeking cross-ice feed, and Tyutin was all alone in the low slot to finish at 17:41.
That was as close as the Blue Jackets would come, however, as Anaheim opened the second with three unanswered to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
"We were given a bit of a clinic by 15 (Getzlaf), 10 (Perry) and 9 (Ryan) tonight, especially on their power play," Columbus interim coach Todd Richards said. "They executed extremely well and we made some mistakes and then ended up paying for them."
Blake went first, scoring his fifth of the season at 1:36. After a Jackets turnover in their own zone, Getzlaf flicked the loose puck down the right boards. Blake latched on and skated in on Mason, finishing across him for a 3-1 Ducks lead.
Eighty-two seconds later and with the Ducks again on the power play, Teemu Selanne threaded a pass into the low slot for Ryan to finish. The goal was Ryan's 21st of the season.
With the assist, Teemu Selanne tied Brett Hull for 21st on the NHL's career list with 1,391 points. At 41, Selanne leads Anaheim in scoring with 51 points.
Perry completed his hat trick on another power play at 12:38. Vinny Prospal had just gone off for a too-many-men penalty, and on the ensuing faceoff in the Jackets' zone the puck caromed in front of net. Ryan tried a shot, and the puck squibbed out to Perry at the left pipe. He lifted it past Mason to wrap it up for the Ducks.
Just before the second intermission, Aaron Johnson pulled one back when his open look from the top of the left circle found its way past Hiller at 19:10. It was Johnson's third of the season. Antoine Vermette rounded out the scoring at 5:27 when he dove to push a rebound past Hiller for his 8th of the season.
"It was a sloppy game," Boudreau said. "I told them to never complain about winning a game. If we want to continue to win on this trip we have to get more like we played in Detroit rather than (how) we played here."