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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Anaheim Ducks @NHLdotcom
Blue Jackets-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (1-3-0) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (1-1-1).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EDT.

Injuries continue to mount, and the Columbus Blue Jackets continue to struggle.

With star forward Rick Nash and first-round pick Gilbert Brule sidelined, the Blue Jackets look to end their road woes when they meet the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Brule will miss six weeks with a broken sternum, a Blue Jackets spokesman said Wednesday. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound center was injured Friday on a hit by Calgary Flames defender Roman Hamrlik. Columbus placed the 18-year-old Brule on injured reserve retroactive to Friday.

Nash, meanwhile, remains on injured reserve with a sprained ankle and is listed as day-to-day. He did not travel with the team on its four-game road trip to Chicago and California.

After beating the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday, the Blue Jackets lost 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

Columbus opens the season with five of six games on the road. The Blue Jackets have lost three of the first four, scoring just seven goals. Nash's only playing time came in the season opener, and that was for just 8:24 of the game.

The Blue Jackets avoided a shutout loss Wednesday as Radoslav Suchy scored on a long shot through traffic with 8 1/2 minutes to play. Marc Denis made 32 saves.

"We had a lot of breakdowns and gave them a lot of scoring chances," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said.

Gallant's team continues to waste its own scoring opportunities. The Blue Jackets failed to score in six power-play chances Wednesday, and is 2-for-24 this season.

The Mighty Ducks haven't been much better with the man advantage, converting 9.5 percent (2-for-21).

Anaheim went 0-for-7 on the power play, including four opportunities in the third period, in a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in its home opener.

"We need to do a better job of killing penalties and when we get on the power play, we need to score some goals," said Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer, who was signed as a free agent in August.

The addition of the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman is one of several major changes the franchise has undergone in the past five months.

Henry and Susan Samueli purchased the team from the Walt Disney Company in June. They dropped a ceremonial first puck Monday and then watched as the team initially showcased the "up-tempo" style new general manager Brian Burke has promised and that new coach Randy Carlyle had delivered in the team's first two games, scoring seven goals.

Teemu Selanne and Corey Perry scored in the first period as the Ducks outshot Edmonton 11-4 and took a 2-0 lead. Perry's goal was his first in the NHL.

Mighty Ducks defenseman Jason Marshall made a return appearance at the Pond after being signed as free agent this summer. Marshall skated for Anaheim from 1995-2001. He picked up an assist on Perry's goal.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 12): Blue Jackets - 2 points, 3rd place (tied), 4 PB, Central Division. Mighty Ducks - 3 points, 4th place, 3 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blue Jackets - Dan Fritsche, 2 goals; Nikolai Zherdev and Manny Malhotra, 2 assists; six tied with 2 points; Malhotra and Adam Foote, 8 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Selanne and Joffrey Lupul, 2 goals; Andy McDonald, 3 assists; Selanne, Perry and McDonald, 3 points; Vitaly Vishnevski, 8 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 12): Blue Jackets - Power play: 8.3 percent (2 for 24), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 90.6 percent (29 for 32), 8th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 9.5 percent (2 for 21), 24th. Penalty killing: 76.2 percent (16 for 21), 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Blue Jackets - Denis (1-2-0, 0 SO, 3.00 GAA); Pascal Leclaire (0-1-0, 0, 3.05). Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1-1-1, 0, 2.61); Ilya Bryzgalov (no appearances).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Blue Jackets, 2-1-1.

LAST MEETING: March 26, 2004; Blue Jackets, 3-1. At Columbus, Ohio, Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist to lead the Blue Jackets.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blue Jackets - 1-2-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 0-1-0 at home.

Associated Press
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