ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Suddenly, the Columbus Blue Jackets are playing tough
on the road.
Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 25th goal of the season with 5:23 left in
the third period Sunday, lifting Columbus to a 2-2 tie with the Anaheim Mighty
Nash sent a wrist shot from the slot past goaltender Martin Gerber to keep
the Blue Jackets undefeated in their last three road games (1-0-2).
"We're playing better and better on the road than we ever have," coach
Gerard Gallant said. "It's coming around. These guys just don't want to
The Blue Jackets are 2-2-2 since Gallant took over for Doug MacLean. All six
games have been on the road. Since starting the season with a 14-game road
winless streak (0-11-1-2), Columbus is 3-2-2-0 away from home.
Columbus goaltender Marc Denis made 11 saves in overtime. Blue Jackets
forward David Vyborny drew a double minor for high-sticking, setting up an
extended Anaheim power play. But the Ducks couldn't score, extending their
winless stretch to a season-high six games (0-3-3).
"When the defensemen do a good job of letting me see the shots it makes my
life much easier," Denis said.
Anaheim took 43 shots, including four by Sergei Fedorov in overtime, but had
to rely on goals by defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski and Todd Simpson to spark the
"We have to look like a more desperate team every night," Anaheim coach
Mike Babcock said.
Simpson gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead 7:44 into the third when he sent an
off-balance wrist shot from the point past Denis for his third goal in three
games. Simpson had only 10 goals in 502 NHL games before starting the
unexpected scoring streak.
"If I shot that any time before it would have got stopped, but it hit a leg
in front," Simpson said.
His first goal in 84 games gave Anaheim a 4-4 tie with Los Angeles on
Wednesday. He also scored in the third period of Anaheim's 5-2 loss to
Vancouver on Friday.
"There's a lot of jealousy in the room," Simpson quipped.
Vishnevski opened the scoring when he put a backhander past Denis 9:24 into
the second period Columbus rookie Nikolai Zherdev fired a wrist shot by Gerber
from the left circle to tie it with 3:44 to play in the second.
Zherdev, the Blue Jackets' top pick (fourth overall) in the 2003 draft, has
four goals and four assists in 20 games since making his debut with Columbus on
Dec. 2. He began the season playing in Russia's top league.
Anaheim rookie Joffrey Lupul assisted on both Ducks goals.