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Blue Jackets-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (23-35-2) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (28-20-11).

TIME: Sunday, 4 p.m. EST.

If the Columbus Blue Jackets want to get back on track, they will need to rely on players other than Nikolai Zherdev to score.

The Blue Jackets will try to avoid their fifth straight loss for the first time in over two months when they visit the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Zherdev, who leads the team with 21 goals, has been Columbus' only source of offense for almost three games. On Feb. 11th, Zherdev scored for the Jackets early in the first period of a 5-2 loss to Nashville.

After the Blue Jackets were shut out 1-0 by Colorado on Thursday, Zherdev scored twice in the first five minutes of the third period in Columbus' 3-2 loss Saturday to Los Angeles.

"It's a compliment for us to come back like that in someone else's arena, but it would have been nice to win the game," Nash said. "They're a good team. They have good defensemen, good forwards and good goaltending. But we played a good game and we were right there with them."

Nash has just one goal in five games while David Vyborny has a goal in eight games.

The Mighty Ducks, meanwhile, will go for their fourth win in five games. Olympian Sandis Ozolinsh scored the go-ahead goal with 7:11 remaining to lead Anaheim to a 4-2 victory Friday over Minnesota.

It was Ozolinsh's first goal since returning to the lineup on Thursday after missing three months because of a knee injury and his entrance into the NHL's substance abuse program.

"For a player that's gone through the situation that he's gone through - and he's continually trying to make a comeback into our lineup - it's a big-time goal," Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's a big relief for him, and he should be credited for it because he's done nothing but strictly focus on trying to help our hockey club."

Ozolinsh had a goal and three assists for Latvia at the Turin Games.

Samuel Pahlsson ended an 18-game scoring drought with his short-handed goal while Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne also scored.

Anaheim has five wins and a tie in its last six home games against Columbus. The Ducks enter this contest three points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

STANDINGS: Blue Jackets - 48 points, 3rd place, 39 PB, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 67 points, 3rd place, 14 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Zherdev, 21 goals; Vyborny, 28 assists and 44 points; Jody Shelley, 120 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 27 goals and 55 points; Andy McDonald and Scott Niedermayer, 34 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 138 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blue Jackets - Power play: 14.5 percent (49 for 337), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81 percent (324 for 400), 23rd. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.6 percent (58 for 350), 21st. Penalty killing: 84.1 percent (317 for 377), 9th.

GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (15-20-0, 1 SO, 3.39 GAA); Pascal Leclaire (5-11-2, 3.49). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (17-9-10, 2, 2.62); Ilya Bryzgalov (11-11-1, 1, 2.53).


LAST MEETING: Dec. 28; Blue Jackets, 1-0. At Columbus, Ohio, Jason Chimera scored for the Blue Jackets and Denis made 40 saves for his 15th career shutout.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 8-22-2 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 18-9-4 at home.

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