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GAME DAY: at Anaheim

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets

  Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Anaheim Ducks
RECORDS - CBJ: 13-32-6 (Road: 5-19-3), ANA: 19-24-7 (Home: 13-13-1)
WHEN: Feb. 3, 2012 - 10 p.m.   |   WHERE: Honda Center

FOX Sports Ohio (HD)  |  LISTEN: 97.1 The Fan &

GAME DAY ON THE ROAD presented by:



Don’t tell the Anaheim Ducks they can’t make a run at the Stanley Cup playoffs. After the hole they dug themselves to open the season, changing coaches after Thanksgiving and getting through the adjustment period under new coach Bruce Boudreau, the Ducks have caught fire and are starting to rack up some points in the Western Conference. Whether they are too far back remains to be seen, but their recent stretch has got them thinking about the postseason.

The Ducks sat in 14th place not too long ago and at one point occupied the bottom spot in the conference, but they have collected points in 10 of their past 12 games and are currently in the middle of a four-game homestand at Honda Center. Though they were not particularly sharp in a 6-2 loss to the Dallas Stars earlier this week, they have benefitted from a good mix of quality goaltending and timely scoring to make up ground in the standings.

In winning six of their last eight games overall, the Ducks have outscored the opposition by a 26-14 aggregate and have several of their top players appearing on the scoresheet.

Anaheim is led in scoring by 41-year-old Teemu Selanne, who never seems to slow down. One of the game’s all-time best goal scorers, Selanne has 47 points on the year and is third in Ducks goal-scoring behind Corey Perry (22) and Bobby Ryan (19). He has picked up 11 points in his last 12 games and has 19-19-38 in 34 career games against the Blue Jackets. Perry, the league’s reigning MVP, has started to heat up and his 22 goals are good for 11th in the NHL – lighting the lamp eight times in the last 13 games.

But with all winning streaks, goaltending is usually the backbone and Jonas Hiller has been excellent between the pipes for the Ducks. Hiller was 7-2-1 in the month of January and posted a goals-against average of 1.56 in those contests – leading the Ducks to the third-best winning percentage in the NHL during the first month of 2012.

Nash (17) Perry (22)
Prospal (22) Selanne (31)
Nash (33) Selanne (47)
Dorsett (118) Perry (65)
MacKenzie (+4) Koivu (+10)
Sanford (8-12-4)
Hiller (16-19-7)
Sanford (2.59) Ellis (2.72)
Sanford (.912) Ellis (.911)
• After playing three road games prior to the All-Star Break, the Blue Jackets will close out a six-game road trip with tonight’s game at Anaheim. Following tonight’s contest, Columbus – which is 0-4-1 on the trip – returns home to play 5-of-6 and 8-of-11 at Nationwide Arena.

Derick Brassard picked up another assist Wednesday at Los Angeles, his second in three games. He picked up an assist Jan. 24 at Tampa Bay, his first in five games. He has tallied 3-4-7 the last 12 games and has 5-7-12 the last 19 games after being held to 2-3-5 the first 24 games of the season.

Derek Dorsett snapped a five-game goalless skid with his ninth of the season Wednesday at Los Angeles. The nine goals are a career high and have over doubled his previous best of four (set three times previously, last season being the most recent). He has 2-3-5 the last 11 games and has collected 7-5-12 the last 30 games after being held to 1-0-1 the first 13 games of the season.

• Tonight marks the third of four meetings overall and second of two meetings at Honda Center this season between the Blue Jackets and Ducks. Columbus is 20-18-4 all-time against Anaheim, including a 9-9-3 mark at Honda Center.


C - #7

• Acquired in the offseason to provide depth down the middle for the Ducks, Cogliano has proven he can fill more than a spare spot in the lineup. He recorded his first career hat trick on Jan. 31 at Phoenix and has 4-4-8 in his last 11 games overall. He’s fourth on the NHL’s active iron man list with 378 consecutive games played.

D Radek Martinek (concussion); out for the season
LW Kristian Huselius (lower body); indefinitely
D James Wisniewski (ankle); indefinitely
C Mark Letestu (broken hand); indefinitely
D Nikita Nikitin (lower body); indefinitely

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