Ducks-Blue Jackets Preview
After earning their first win on their longest road trip of the season, the Anaheim Ducks will try to slow down a Columbus Blue Jackets team that's gained some confidence since returning home.
The Ducks will seek to snap Columbus' three-game winning streak as their eight-game trek continues Sunday night.
Anaheim (8-3-0) had a seven-game win streak snapped when it opened the trip with a 4-2 loss to Toronto on Tuesday. The Ducks followed with a 4-1 defeat to Montreal on Thursday before getting back on track the next night with a 2-1 victory over Ottawa.
Captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, and linemate Pat Maroon scored his second goal in as many games.
"Our guys did a great job responding and getting back to the hockey that we like to play," Getzlaf said. "After back-to-back games you can't ask for anything else. Our guys did a great job parking (Thursday's) loss and focusing on this one."
Rookie Frederik Andersen provided a boost, stopping 26 shots in his first NHL start, and the Ducks announced after the game that he had signed a two-year contract extension.
"He came in and did what he had to do," coach Bruce Boudreau said of Andersen, called up to replace injured backup Viktor Fasth on Oct. 18. "He made great saves when he had to make them. That's the sign of a good goaltender."
Jonas Hiller could be back in net Sunday but has a 4.81 goals-against average in his last three games.
One Ducks player who won't take the ice is Jakob Silfverberg, who broke his right hand Friday and will miss four to six weeks.
While Silfverberg is fourth on the team with seven points, Mathieu Perreault ranks third with nine but also could sit out Sunday after spraining his left wrist against the Senators. However, Dustin Penner could return after missing three games due to a concussion.
The Ducks will next focus on trying to get past the resurgent Blue Jackets (5-5-0). Columbus had lost four in a row heading into a four-game homestand which began last Sunday but has won the first three by a 12-4 margin.
The Blue Jackets scored four times in the third period Friday to pull away for a 5-2 victory over Toronto. Marian Gaborik began that surge with his third goal in as many games, and Brandon Dubinsky followed with Columbus' first short-handed score of the season.
"I'm so proud of the way we came back," forward Nick Foligno said of the Blue Jackets' rebound from a winless three-game road trip. "I know the guys were not in low spirits but disappointed after that road swing. We needed to get off on the right foot here on this homestand. We seem to have done that. We seem to have gotten our confidence back."
Anaheim is 3-0-3 in its last six matchups against Columbus but suffered overtime defeats in each of the past two. Fedor Tyutin, who had two assists Friday, scored the winner in a 3-2 road victory April 17, and Mark Letestu got the OT goal in a 2-1 win at Columbus on March 31.
Getzlaf has 32 points in his last 23 matchups with the Blue Jackets, including eight during the Ducks' six-game point streak in the series.
Corey Perry has a team-high nine points in that span, including two hat tricks, but was limited to one goal and one assist in last season's three matchups.
Perry had two assists Friday to remain tied with Getzlaf for the team lead with 11 points.