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Mighty Ducks-Blue Jackets Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (32-21-12) at Columbus Blue Jackets (26-38-3).

TIME: Sunday, 5 p.m. EST.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks' recent run has put them within striking distance of the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

The playoff chase continues for the Mighty Ducks as they face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the third game of a four-game road trip.

Anaheim beat Chicago 2-1 on Friday for its fourth win in five games, and improved to 6-2-1 away from Arrowhead Pond since Jan. 26. The Ducks are in ninth place in the West, but are just a few points back of the teams currently in the final four spots in the conference.

Andy McDonald scored both goals Friday for Anaheim, and has a career-high 24 goals this season. McDonald has been centering a line with Teemu Selanne and Chris Kunitz since Sergei Fedorov was traded to Columbus in mid-November.

"I don't think it's any one thing," said McDonald, who had 27 goals in 194 games before this season. "Obviously playing with Teemu, and Chris has been involved with our line and he's helped us a lot.

"This year, I've gotten the opportunity to play in key situations. The coaching staff has shown a lot of confidence in me and I've been healthy. I've struggled with injuries earlier in my career."

McDonald has scored five goals in eight games since the Olympic break to lead Anaheim, while Selanne has three goals and five assists in that span.

The Blue Jackets were 14-8-1 from Dec. 26 until the Olympic break, but are 3-5-1 since play has resumed and have lost three straight.

Columbus fell 3-2 to Vancouver on a fluke goal Friday night in the first game of a four-game homestand.

The Canucks scored the winning goal with 6:11 remaining when Brendan Morrison's attempted centering pass from the left corner hit Columbus forward Manny Malhotra and landed behind goaltender Pascal Leclaire.

"Vancouver came in here and they haven't been playing very well," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. "They didn't play very well tonight, either, but they played better than us."

Leclaire played well for the Blue Jackets, stopping 30 shots and getting his first career assist on a second-period goal by Ron Hainsey.

Blue Jackets point leader David Vyborny hasn't scored a goal in 11 games, and has just five assists in that span.

STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 76 points, 3rd place, 17 PB, Pacific Division. Blue Jackets - 55 points, 3rd place, 42 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 29 goals and 62 points; Scott Niedermayer, 42 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 142 PIM. Blue Jackets - Nikolai Zherdev, 24 goals; Vyborny, 32 assists and 48 points; Jody Shelley, 131 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.4 percent (64 for 389), 21st in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (349 for 414), 8th. Blue Jackets - Power play: 14.3 percent (54 for 378), 29th. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (352 for 436), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (20-10-11, 2 SO, 2.59 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (12-11-1, 1, 2.51). Blue Jackets - Marc Denis (16-23-0, 1, 3.33); Leclaire (7-12-3, 3.38).

SEASON SERIES: Blue Jackets, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: March 5; Blue Jackets 3-2, SO. At Anaheim, Calif., McDonald tied the game at 17:36 of the third period, but Rick Nash scored the only goal of the shootout to give Columbus the win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 12-12-7 on the road; Blue Jackets - 17-15-0 at home.

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