Corey Perry and defenseman Sami Vatanen scored power-play goals in the first period, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Friday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
John Gibson, starting in net for the first time since losing 6-4 in his hometown of Pittsburgh on opening night, faced just 17 shots as the two-time defending Pacific Division champions improved to 7-1. Last season, the Ducks also won seven straight after a season-opening loss at Colorado.
Scott Hartnell had a power-play goal for the Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves.
Perry, who got his second hat trick of the season in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Buffalo, opened the scoring with a backhander from the edge of the crease just 1:28 after the opening faceoff and 64 seconds after David Savard was sent off for hooking Jakob Silfverberg.
It was the third straight game in which the Ducks scored on their first shot on net. Matt Beleskey did it against St. Louis’ Brian Elliott last Sunday, and Perry did likewise on Wednesday against Buffalo’s Michal Neuvirth. The 2011 MVP has nine goals in his first eight games in the fastest start in franchise history.
Vatanen made it 2-0 at 8:37, scoring on a screened 45-foot slap shot while Matt Calvert was off for hooking William Karlsson. Columbus came in having allowed one goal in 16 short-handed situations over its first six games.
The Blue Jackets got on the board at the 14-minute mark of the first with Hartnett’s first goal of the season, just 14 seconds after Ben Lovejoy went off for tripping Mark Letestu.
But Devante Smith-Pelly restored the Ducks’ two-goal margin at 13:06 of the second with a perfect redirect of Perry’s soft cross-ice pass into the low slot – lifting his left leg just in time after the puck hit the blade of his stick.
Columbus right wing Adam Cracknell, who made his Blue Jackets debut in Thursday’s 5-4 win at San Jose, left the game with an injured left knee after he and Nate Thompson slid into the boards going after a loose puck in left corner of Ducks’ zone at 2:54 of the third period.
Teammate Cam Atkinson then departed after getting cut in the face by the skate of Ryan Kesler while trying to check him inside the Columbus blue line with 9:26 to play.
Ryan Getzlaf scored into an empty net with 2:27 remaining.
NOTES: Columbus’ next game is a Sunday matinee against the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings. The Blue Jackets, who entered the league in 2000-01, are 6-24-5 with two ties during the regular season against teams that were defending a Stanley Cup title. … Cracknell spent his four previous NHL seasons with St. Louis and was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. … The Ducks won a franchise-record 10 straight games last season, lost the next one against San Jose and then won their next eight in a row. … LW Sonny Milano, the Blue Jackets’ first pick in the 2014 draft, was activated from the injured non-roster list and assigned to the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL. He sustained a facial fracture at the NHL Prospects Tournament in September. … The Blue Jackets are off to a 4-3-0 start, after winning a franchise-record 43 games last season and losing to Pittsburgh in the first round of the playoffs. … The Ducks conclude their five-game homestand Sunday night against San Jose before starting a four-game road trip Tuesday at Chicago.