POST GAME ON THE ROAD presented by:
Derick Brassard could not help but smile from ear-to-ear after one of the best performances of his National Hockey League career.
Elevated to the top line between Rick Nash and R.J. Umberger to start this California road trip, Brassard capped it off with the first two-goal effort of his career, including a beautiful slap shot at 3:55 of overtime that lifted the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Blue Jackets battled back from two one-goal deficits in this game and managed to cool off the red-hot Ducks, who have lost consecutive games after going 9-2-1 since January 6.
It was an impressive evening for the Blue Jackets, who put disappointing losses in San Jose and Los Angeles in the rear-view mirror and managed to kill off four second-period power plays for the Ducks. Curtis Sanford was excellent in making 33 saves and was a backbone for Columbus during a difficult middle frame.
Teemu Selanne has enjoyed a solid career against the Blue Jackets, and he opened the scoring early in the first period. Lubomir Visnovsky’s one-timer squeaked under the arm of Sanford, and the rebound lay in the crease for Selanne to sweep it home at 1:46.
The Ducks held the 1-0 lead until late in the second period, when the Blue Jackets’ top line got a lengthy shift in the Anaheim zone. John Moore shot the puck from the blue line and it caromed to Nash, but the Blue Jackets captain couldn’t get it toward Hiller. Brassard came in to clean up the garbage and tie the game at 14:47, a goal that proved huge for Columbus as the game progressed.
Selanne struck for his second of the night in the closing minutes of the middle frame with the Ducks on their fourth power play of the period. Corey Perry feathered a perfect feed to Selanne, who was camped in the left circle for the one-timer which game the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Antoine Vermette and Jeff Carter connected for a sweet power-play goal at 2:05 of the third period to get the Blue Jackets back to all-square. Vinny Prospal’s shot bounced to Vermette at the side of the net, and he hit Carter on the backhand with an open cage for his 11th of the year.
Carter, playing in his first game since Jan. 8 with a shoulder injury, made his return in fine fashion and scored a big goal in the second period. Vermette’s cross-crease feed gave Carter a wide-open net to make it a 2-2 game and give the Blue Jackets new life before the third period began.
Columbus is now 21-18-4 all-time against Anaheim, including a 10-9-3 mark at Honda Center. The Blue Jackets have won five of the last seven meetings at Honda Center.
Brassard snapped a six-game goalless skid with his eighth and ninth goals of the season tonight. He last scored Jan. 17 vs. Edmonton. The multi-goal game and overtime goal were the first of his NHL career. It was his first game-winning goal since Jan. 13 vs. Phoenix, a span of eight games. He has collected 5-4-9 the last 13 games and 7-7-14 the last 20 games after being held to 2-3-5 the first 24 games of the season.
Nash picked up his first assist in six games with a helper on Brassard’s goal. His last assist was Jan. 17 vs. Edmonton. He has points (5-2-7) in six of the last 11 games, as well as 13-9-22 the last 33 games. He has collected 18-15-33 in 33 career games against the Ducks.
Moore has assists in back-to-back games after picking up a helper on Brassard’s goal. He had been held without an assist the previous 13 games, as his last assist was Dec. 29 at Dallas.
Vermette has points in back-to-back games after tallying an assist on Carter’s goal. He has points in eight of the last 11 games with 1-7-8 during that stretch after being held to 1-1-2 the previous 13 games. In 15 career games against the Ducks, he has 2-10-12.
Sanford has allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his last 11 starts. He has posted a 2.57 goals-against average and .918 save percentage his last 11 starts after posting a 3.70 goals-against average and .880 save percentage his previous eight starts.
vs. Minnesota Wild
Nationwide Arena | Columbus, Ohio
Tuesday, 7 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: CD102.5 FM & BlueJackets.com