Blue Jackets 5, Ducks 2

The Columbus Blue Jackets have known for quite some time that

they likely won’t return to the playoffs. The Anaheim Ducks are

starting to realize a similar predicament.

Jakub Voracek scored the first of Columbus’ three power-play

goals and had two assists, leading the Blue Jackets to a 5-2

victory over the fading Ducks on Tuesday night.

Mathieu Garon made 36 saves one night after relieving Steve

Mason, who gave up four goals on 12 shots against Los Angeles in

the first period of a 6-0 loss.

“They’re not in a playoff spot, so they’re playing to keep jobs

right now and we should have been ready,” Anaheim forward Bobby

Ryan said. “They started their other goalie, and he played well.

He made some big saves early – Dan Sexton had one back door and I

had one back door. If we score on those, maybe the ball is rolling

the other way.”

The Ducks, coming off a 4-3 shootout loss to Montreal, have

dropped three straight at home following a franchise-record,

11-game winning streak there. They are seven points out of a

playoff spot with 16 games left.

“The odds aren’t in our favor,” Ryan said. “There was a time

where we could have controlled our own fate, but that might not be

the case now. We’re not in the driver’s seat anymore.

“You can’t come out of a break and lose four straight. It’s

unacceptable. Nothing’s gone well. The power play hasn’t clicked,

and we’re not getting the proper level of execution that we should

be accustomed to with this lineup. It’s been ugly.”

The Blue Jackets rebounded from Monday’s effort in which they

recorded only 11 shots. Antoine Vermette and Derick Brassard scored

on power plays in the final 1:58, and the Blue Jackets also got

goals from Derek Dorsett and Fedor Tyutin.

“We wanted to bounce back,” Garon said. “We were not

satisfied at all, and sometimes it’s a good thing to get right back

at it the next day. I think we responded really well.”

The Ducks, who came in with an NHL-best 26.5 power-play success

rate in home games, were a season-worst 0 for 7 for the second time

in three games. This effort came against a penalty-killing unit

that allowed at least one power-play goal in five consecutive

games. And it may have snuffed out Anaheim’s postseason hopes.

“You have to believe as long as it’s possible,” goalie Jonas

Hiller said. “We still have chances to win games, but we almost

have to win all the games we have left.”

The Ducks, who haven’t missed the postseason since 2004, got

goals from Lubomir Visnovsky and Ryan Getzlaf in the final 10:49 of

the third period after falling behind 3-0.

But forward Saku Koivu took a hooking penalty with 2:31

remaining, and Vermette scored 33 seconds later. Anaheim captain

Scott Niedermayer then was sent off for hooking with 22 seconds

left, and Brassard cashed in 5 seconds later.

“Neither the power play or the penalty kill did a good enough

job,” Ducks forward Todd Marchant said.

“We had played so well up until the Olympic break. Obviously,

coming out of the break, we wanted to continue where we left off,

but it hasn’t happened for us,” Marchant added. “It doesn’t mean

that we can’t turn things around and go on a winning streak. I

don’t like to look at things as miracles. Who knows what’s going to

happen? You can win the last 16 games and still not make the

playoffs. It is possible.”

The Blue Jackets won the season series 3-1 and snapped a

five-game losing streak despite the absence of leading scorer Rick

Nash (lower body), who was scratched for the first time this

season. Kristian Huselius sat out his second straight game because

of a hand injury.

Dorsett, who missed 16 games after breaking his hand in a fight

with Anaheim’s Mike Brown the last time the teams met on Dec. 12 at

Columbus, opened the scoring at 8:55 of the first period during a

goalmouth scramble. He immediately got into another fight with

rookie Matt Beleskey while his teammates celebrated the goal.

The Blue Jackets, outshot by a combined 79-33 margin by the

Kings and San Jose Sharks during this trip, extended their lead to

2-0 at 8:14 of the second on Voracek’s 10th goal.

Tyutin scored less than 5 minutes later, following up his own

shot from the top of the left circle and beating Hiller from a

sharp angle.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle then pulled Hiller and put in Curtis

McElhinney, who stopped seven of nine shots in his Ducks debut

after being acquired from Calgary on March 3.

NOTES: Teemu Selanne, the Ducks’ career leader in every major

offensive category, was scratched because of flulike symptoms. …

Hiller made 35 saves on Dec. 12 in his only other start against the

Blue Jackets. … Columbus recalled C Derek MacKenzie and LW Maksim

Mayorov from Syracuse of the AHL because of the injuries to Nash

and Huselius. MacKenzie left the game in the first period with an

undisclosed lower body injury after playing six shifts.