Corey Perry completed his fourth NHL hat trick by scoring into an empty net in the final minute, Teemu Selanne had two goals, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4 on Sunday night despite losing goalie Jonas Hiller in the first period.
Saku Koivu had a goal and two assists, Andrew Cogliano also scored, and Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky each had two assists.
The Ducks, coming off a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders on Friday, have won back-to-back games for the first time since starting the season 4-1. They had scored more than four goals only once in their 39 previous games – a 6-5 loss to Chicago in Nov. 25.
Rick Nash had two goals, and Derick Brassard and Vinny Prospal also scored for the Blue Jackets, who are an NHL-worst 11-25-5 and could have sent Anaheim to the bottom of the standings with a regulation victory. But the Ducks built a 4-1 lead against Steve Mason in the first period after outshooting Columbus 16-8.
Mason, the NHL rookie of the year in 2009, is 5-17-2 with a 3.46 goals-against average this season. He has allowed at least four goals in 12 of his 24 starts – all losses.
Recently promoted Ducks forward Jean-Francois Jacques received a major penalty for elbowing R.J. Umberger with 5:54 left, but the Blue Jackets couldn’t take advantage and lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Cogliano opened the scoring at 2:14. The Ducks made it 2-0 at 13:02 on a play started by defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who carried the puck back into his own zone before spinning around and banking it off the boards to Ryan at center ice. Ryan set up Perry in the right circle for a wrist shot that beat Mason.
Columbus got on the board about 4 1/2 minutes later with a fluke goal by Nash, whose attempted centering pass caromed off Beauchemin’s skate and through Hiller’s pads. But Selanne and Koivu responded with goals 35 seconds apart in the final 1 1/2 minutes of the first.
The Ducks, 0 for 19 on the power play in the previous six games, ended the drought the second time they had the advantage. Selanne jammed the puck under Mason’s left leg after gaining possession behind the net. Koivu made it 4-1, converting Ryan’s centering pass 61 seconds before intermission.
Hiller suddenly headed for the dressing room with an undisclosed lower body injury and was replaced by backup Iiro Tarkki, who stopped seven of 10 shots in his NHL debut. Tarkki was promoted from Syracuse of the AHL after Dan Ellis strained a groin at practice on Saturday. Ellis is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks.
Mason was replaced at the start of the second period by Curtis Sanford, who beat Los Angeles 1-0 on Saturday for Columbus’ first shutout of the season. The Blue Jackets cut the deficit to 4-2 on Brassard’s power-play goal at 4:11 of the second.
But staggered penalties 26 seconds apart to Derek MacKenzie for roughing and Samuel Pahlsson for slashing gave Anaheim a two-man advantage, and Perry capitalized with his 17th goal. Selanne added his 651st NHL goal and 14th of the season 27 seconds into the third period.
NOTES: Randy Carlyle, fired as Ducks coach on Nov. 30, was a surprise visitor in the press box. … There had been 11 two-goal games by Ducks players since the team’s previous hat trick, by Perry on April 6, 2011, against San Jose. … Columbus recalled LW Tomas Kubalik from Springfield of the AHL, the second player the team brought up on an emergency basis in a three-day span because of injuries to C Mark Letestu (broken hand) and LW Kristian Huselius (lower body). LW Ryan Russell made his NHL debut on Saturday.