COLUMBUS, Ohio - Corey Perry had a goal and two assists, four teammates also scored and the Anaheim Ducks ended a three-game slide, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Saturday night.
The game pitted two of the 11 teams within 10 points of the final four playoffs spots in the Western Conference at the start of the day.
Chris Pronger, Brendan Morrison, Chris Kunitz and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Ducks, who showed no ill effects from playing back-to-back nights to start a season-long six-game trip. Ryan Getzlaf and Scott Niedermayer each had two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 26 shots while squaring his record at 15-15-4.
Rick Nash had a goal and an assist, and Kristian Huselius also scored for Columbus, which had picked up points in its previous seven games.
Clinging to a 2-1 lead late in the second period, the Ducks picked up two quick goals to put the game out of reach. They came on the Ducks' only two shots of the period. They had eight shots in the opening period and only five the rest of the night - but scored on three of them.
First, Perry beat Columbus defenceman Jan Hejda to a loose puck in the offensive zone and swooped in on goaltender Steve Mason, beating him with a low, hard shot between his leg pads for his 21st of the year. Less than four minutes later, Perry collected the puck behind the goal and, while two Blue Jackets collided trying to get to the puck, he slid a centring pass that Kunitz jammed in.
The Ducks couldn't score in their only previous meeting against Mason, a rookie sensation who shut them out on New Year's Eve in Anaheim. But they needed only 3:26 to get on the board this time.
Midway through a power play, Pronger netted a hard one-timer from the right point that sliced under Mason's glove.
Anaheim then added an even-strength goal. Brian Salcido, playing in his second game, picked up his first NHL point when he drove the puck along the boards to Morrison behind the Columbus net. Morrison tried a wraparound that bounced off the stick of Blue Jackets defenceman Mike Commodore and past a surprised Mason.
Late in a chippy first period in which there were 34 penalty minutes, four fighting majors and a couple of other altercations, Giguere stopped but could not immediately cover a slapshot by Jason Williams. The Blue Jackets' R.J. Umberger took a couple of whacks at it, but the official blew his whistle while the puck was still loose beneath the prone Giguere. One more try by Umberger put it in the net, although it was disallowed - touching off a chorus of boos from a capacity crowd.
The Blue Jackets, stymied all night by Giguere, finally broke through on the power play in the second. Williams tossed the puck through the crease to Nash who flipped a shot from a hard angle that went into the net off of the goalie's side. It was the third game in a row in which Nash had scored.
Columbus added another power play early in the final period after Kunitz received a double minor for high sticking. Huselius skated laterally through the slot before wristing a shot into the net.
Ryan, considered along with Mason one of the top rookie of the year candidates, then notched his 21st to make it 5-2.
Notes: The Blue Jackets claimed C Chris Gratton off waivers from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, and also placed D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen on injured reserve and recalled D Aaron Rome from Syracuse (AHL). ... The Ducks, the most penalized team in the NHL, gave the Blue Jackets five consecutive power plays in the first and second periods. Columbus, last in the league on the power play, was unable to convert until the last one. ... Anaheim improved to 17-12-3 against Columbus, with wins in six of the last seven meetings. ... Getzlaf took a shot off an ankle in the third period and hobbled to the dressing room.