DUCKS 4 | BLUE JACKETS 3
The Blue Jackets and Ducks have traditionally engaged in some combative hockey games, and tonight's game in Columbus took a dramatic swing late in the second period.
DUCKS 4 | BLUE JACKETS 3
What started as an innocent-looking foray into the Blue Jackets' end of the rink turned about to be a controversial sequence of events that won't end with the final buzzer.
Brandon Dubinsky delivered a hard hit to Anaheim's Saku Koivu in the high slot and play continued for a few seconds before everyone got together in a brief dust-up to side of the Columbus net; after the officiating crew convened at center ice, Dubinsky was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct - sending the Ducks to a five-minute power play.
Columbus went to the second intermission tied 2-2 but the palpabale tension in the building carried over to the third period. Anaheim capitalized on the major penalty, taking a 3-2 lead on Emerson Etem's second goal of the season at the 1:51 mark.
All things considered, coming out of the major penalty with only one goal yielded wasn't worst-case scenario for the Blue Jackets, who have shown plenty of resolve over this four-game home stand. True to form, Anisimov's second goal of the game (following a shorthanded goal in the second period) tied things up 3-3 at 8:24 of the third, as he tipped in a Wisniewski point shot that found its way through traffic.
But the major breakdown came in the final minutes with the game tied 3-3, and the puck wound up on the stick of the wrong guy.
The Blue Jackets appeared to have things under control inside their own end, but a back pass intended for the Fedor Tyutin (who was waiting behind Bobrovsky's net) took a bad bounce off the end boards and trickled into the slot. Corey Perry - who had plenty of chances in the game - used his long reach to curl around a diving Bobrovsky and lift the game-winning goal into the net with 2:25 to play.
In many ways, the Dubinsky hit and subsequent chain of events changed the complexion of the game. The Ducks, though they yielded the 3-3 goal in the third period, didn't take their foot off the pedal and played very aggressively in the final 35 minutes of the game.
1. ARTEM ANISIMOV (CBJ)
This was the kind of game Anisimov sorely needed. He had been playing increasingly better over the last couple of weeks and tonight, he was rewarded with a pair goals - including a shorthanded beauty in the second period.
2. COREY PERRY (ANA)
Perry was around the net all night long and missed connecting on a couple of glorious chances, but his 10th goal of the season was a gigantic one for the Ducks. He picked up a goal (the GWG) and an assist and played just shy of 20 minutes on the Ducks' top line with Getzlaf and Maroon.
3. RYAN GETZLAF (ANA)
The Ducks' captain was relatively quiet early in the game but he kicked it up a notch in the final 40 minutes. He got the Ducks on the board with a quick wrister just 19 seconds into the middle frame and it seemed as if he was on the ice for every other shift. Getzlaf took 23 shifts and logged nearly five minutes of ice time on the power play alone.
at PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
FRIDAY, 7 P.M.
CONSOL ENERGY CENTER