ANAHEIM, Calif. - Rick Nash scored the only goal in the shootout as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Ducks 3-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
The loss was the Ducks’ 12th overtime or shootout loss this season which leads the NHL. Anaheim also gave up one point in the playoff chase and now sit four points from the eighth and last Western Conference playoff seed as Edmonton bested Nashville in overtime.
“It’s disappointing. I know we came back to tie it when we were down by a goal and go into overtime, but right now that’s not good enough,” said Andy McDonald whose 20th goal at 17:36 of the third period tied the contest. “The way this conference is going, it’s probably going to be a point difference for that last playoff spot.”
Columbus started the scoring in the first period when Jaroslav Balastik (10, Vyborny, Hrdina) scored his 10th goal of the season on the power play at 11:02.
“It’s disturbing because we didn’t start the way we need to start,” said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. That’s been the story the last three games since we came out of the break. We’ve had to battle back. Points are too important now and we’ve got to find a way to shake ourselves out of those doldrums early.”
The Ducks evened things at 16:30 of the first period as Ryan Getzlaf (9, Beauchemin, Selanne) deflected a Francois Beauchemin slap shot on the power play for his ninth goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets got the one-goal lead back less than two minutes later when Nikolai Zherdev (22, Nash, Fedorov) got his 22nd on the season on the power play at 18:18.
After a scoreless second and much of the third period, McDonald (20, S. Niedermayer, Selanne) tallied at 17:36 of the third period to tie the contest, 2-2.
The game would go to overtime where the Ducks could not convert on a 4-on-3 power play advantage. In the shootout only Nash would find the back of the net to lift the Blue Jackets to the 3-2 victory.
“We just have to find a way to have a better start,” said Ducks netminder JS Giguere. “The last three games we’ve gotten in trouble because of our start. We know what to do here to be prepared and we just need to do that. If we play like we did in the second and third periods for 60 minutes, we’ll come out winning most of the games.”
The Ducks next face San Jose on Tuesday 7:30 PM at the Arrowhead Pond.