The Columbus Blue Jackets opened their three-game California trip Monday in one of the toughest places to play in the NHL.
But it didn't seem to bother them at all.
Nick Foligno scored twice in the third period and Sergei Bobrovsky made 34 saves to lead the Blue Jackets to a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.
Ryan Johansen and RJ Umberger also scored for Columbus (29-23-4), which has won three in a row and moved within a point of the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
"It's a huge win for the team, for a lot of different reasons," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "The road trip and how you want to start, but also just where we're at in the standings. It's a big win. You take a look around the League, other Eastern teams are winning and we need to keep pace. This was a great win, and we'll be able to enjoy it tomorrow as far as having a day off away from the rink and maybe enjoy the sunshine a little bit. But then we've got to refocus and we're gonna face a really good L.A. team. We've got two big games left."
Mathieu Perreault and Ryan Getzlaf scored for the Ducks (40-13-5), who have lost back-to-back home games after winning 21 of their first 24 at Honda Center. Frederik Andersen stopped 29 of 33 shots in the loss.
"We knew we were going to hit some patches here and there," Getzlaf told the Ducks website. "It's frustrating with our effort and our start of the game. We're not ready to play. They came out and they played hard. Their goaltender played well early, and we just didn't respond. We didn't keep playing the game."
Johansen continued his scoring pace with his 23rd goal of the season at 11:10 of the first period. With the teams at even strength, Boone Jenner fed Nathan Horton behind the net on a nice give-and-go. Horton then saw Johansen cruising into the slot, where the latter quickly snapped a feed past Andersen to give Columbus a 1-0 lead. It was Johansen's fourth goal in the past three games.
Columbus improved to 8-0-0 this season when Horton records a point.
"Boone and RJ had a great game and are great players," Horton told Fox Sports Ohio. "It just seems to be clicking right now."
Umberger doubled the Blue Jackets' lead with a power-play goal at 16:43 of the second. After Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen was whistled for tripping, James Wisniewski took a pass from Mark Letestu and fired a shot from the left circle that went off Umberger's right skate and past Andersen to make it 2-0. It was Umberger's 15th goal of the season.
Anaheim finally solved Bobrovsky when Perreault scored 5:45 into the third period. Not long after Bobrovsky robbed Daniel Winnik on a diving save, Perreault finished off a nice tic-tac-toe passing display with Teemu Selanne and Patrick Maroon, tapping Maroon's feed past Bobrovsky for his 11th goal of the season.
But the Blue Jackets quickly restored the two-goal lead when Foligno made it 3-1 at 8:48. Umberger stripped Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm of the puck along the wall and quickly sent it in front, where Foligno was able to whack it past Andersen for his 14th goal of the season.
"I have to be better seeing some of those chances," Andersen said. "It doesn't matter how hard they come. I have to be better. It's tough to win when you let in four goals. We weren't ready."
Foligno put Columbus up by three with a power-play goal at 13:07. Cam Atkinson carried the puck from the left circle to the net and wristed a shot that Andersen denied, but Foligno was on the doorstep and fired home the rebound to make it 4-1.
"We know how good they play here, so we were at our best," Foligno said. "I thought we played really well from the start, kind of dictated the play, got pucks behind them, and really made it difficult on them tonight. That's a heck of a team over there, and it was a measuring stick for us in a way. I think the guys were excited to see how we did, and I thought we did well. We really battled hard tonight and had some timely saves and some big goals and some big penalty kills. That's what you need in a win."
Getzlaf cut the deficit in half with his 27th goal of the season at 16:41 when he poked Lindholm's rebound past Bobrovsky, but the Ducks didn't get any closer.