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Nash, Zherdev Score But Columbus Can't Solve Anaheim

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
(AP) -- Joffrey Lupul scored to snap a third-period tie, and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3, on Sunday.

Francois Beauchemin, acquired midseason from Columbus for Sergei Fedorov, had a goal and assist for Anaheim, which has won eight of 11 to get within striking distance of eighth-place Vancouver in the Western Conference playoff race.

Travis Moen and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, and Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne had two assists each.

Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche and Rick Nash had goals for the Blue Jackets, losers of four straight and 10 of 14.

Columbus pressed for the equalizer during a late, two-man advantage but the Ducks held on. Beauchemin later cleared the puck from the crease, and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere robbed Nash from close range with 2 seconds left.

With the game tied 3-3 in the third, Selanne slid a backhand pass from the right goal line to Lupul. The Columbus defense collapsed low and Lupul, unchecked, fired the puck into an open net at 11:10 for the power-play score -- his 24th goal of the season.

After Nash converted his 21st on another counterattack with Zherdev to make it 3-1 early in the second period, Anaheim responded quickly to tie it.

Following a mad scramble near the Blue Jackets crease, Moen shot the puck from the left corner and hit goalie Marc Denis, who was backpedaling. The puck trickled inside the near post at 4:09.

Just 1:24 later, a shot nicked the stick of defenseman Radoslav Suchy in the slot and found an open Perry, who snapped a shot past Denis at 5:33 to tie it 3-3.

Anaheim replaced Ilya Bryzgalov with Giguere at 11:24 of the second period.

A weak point shot through traffic by Beauchemin sneaked past Denis to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 5:51 of the opening period.

Zherdev tallied his 25th on the power play to tie it at 13:11. Streaking down the left wing, Nash flipped a pass to Zherdev, who redirected the puck past Bryzgalov.

Just 43 seconds later, Fritsche deflected Suchy's long shot after a faceoff win by Jan Hrdina to give Columbus a 2-1 lead.

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