ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Anaheim Ducks built a substantial lead, then held on for a nervous victory.
"When you have a 4-1 lead, you have to be able to stay focused," Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf said after he scored twice Sunday night in a Anaheim's 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. "We let up a little bit, a few plays were lackadaisical and that turns into scoring chances. We played 55 minutes of strong hockey tonight. We're going to take our win and go."
The Ducks' late lapse let Columbus back into the game.
After Anaheim built a 3-1 lead in the second period, each team scored twice in the final 5:31. Bobby Ryan's goal at 14:39 gave the Ducks a 4-1 pad, but the Blue Jackets' Kris Russell scored with 2:55 remaining, then Fredrik Modin got another shot past Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with 46 seconds on the clock.
But the Ducks' Rob Niedermayer answered with an unassisted goal just 11 seconds later to cap a wild finish.
Ryan, a rookie, had an assist to go with his third goal of the season. Anaheim defenceman George Parros added a career-high two assists, and Chris Kunitz also had two assists for the Ducks.
Parros was selected one of the Ducks' three players of the game.
Asked the last time he was a player of the game, Parros said, "Probably in the minors. It's been a while. I had to ask (Getzlaf) what to do."
Niedermayer scored the clinching goal with a fine individual effort, successfully battling a pair of defenders for the puck, then skating down and beating goalie Pascal Leclaire at close range.
The Ducks got off 34 shots at Leclaire, two more than the Blue Jackets took at Giguere.
Leclaire would have liked for the game to have lasted a little longer.
"It's unfortunate that we ran out of time," he said. "It's tough to come back on those guys when they are up like that, but we almost did it.
"It's a matter of getting that effort all game."
Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said the Blue Jackets need to regroup.
"We haven't been able to manufacture goals that we had chances for," he said. "When you get on the road and get as many chances as we did, you have to capitalize on them."
Ryan Carter, who scored Anaheim's second goal, had a third-period fight with Columbus' Ole-Kristian Tollefsen that ended when he slammed Tollefsen backward onto the ice. Tollefsen lay there for a few moments, and was wobbly as he was helped off the ice.
"I was just woozy," Tollefsen said after the game.
Parros and the Blue Jackets' Jared Boll tussled in the first period.
After Derick Brassard's power-play goal at 15:31 of the second period pulled the Blue Jackets to 2-1, Getzlaf responded quickly with his second goal of the night and 12th of the season.
With players battling for the puck just to the right of the Columbus goal, the puck popped out and into the crease, where Getzlaf knocked it in at 17:55.
The Ducks had opened a 2-0 lead on Carter's goal at 7:29 of the second period. Ryan, skating down the right boards, passed to Carter as he came down the left side of the slot and Carter had only to tap the puck past Leclaire.
Getzlaf opened the scoring at 1:33 of the period when he knocked in a rebound of his own shot. Leclaire blocked the slapshot from the right circle, but Getzlaf sliced across the crease and backhanded the puck into the net past the sprawling goalie.
Anaheim outshot Columbus 9-6 in a scoreless first period marked mostly by turnovers.
Notes: The Blue Jackets were coming off a 3-0 defeat by the Los Angeles Kings, Columbus' first shutout loss of the season. The Ducks had been off since Wednesday, when they concluded a three-game road swing with a 4-2 loss at Chicago. ... Anaheim won 3-2 in Columbus on Oct. 27 and has won four straight in the series, including three in a row on home ice.