Blue Jackets-Ducks Preview

The Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks are postseason bound,

but they’ll need to start scoring more if they want to make a deep

run.

Doing so against the Columbus Blue Jackets could be difficult if

Sergei Bobrovsky, who has carried them into playoff contention, is

in net.

Having scored one goal each time in losing its last two,

well-rested Anaheim takes on a Blue Jackets team looking to match a

season-best five-game winning streak Wednesday night.

The Ducks (27-10-5) are in second place in the West, but they

have to make sure they hold off Los Angeles in the division race. A

good way to do so would be to generate more offense, as they’ve

scored 25 times in a 5-7-1 stretch.

Ryan Getzlaf provided a short-handed goal Saturday, but Anaheim

fell 2-1 to the Kings.

“Nobody is scoring any goals,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Just

look at the numbers of guys that haven’t scored in a long time

now.”

Daniel Winnik has no goals in 19 games, Saku Koivu and David

Steckel have gone 15 games without scoring and Bobby Ryan has one

in 13.

That doesn’t bode well if Bobrovsky starts. The NHL’s first

start of the week has posted a 1.58 goals-against average while

playing all but one game of the Blue Jackets’ 7-2-0 stretch.

He made 29 saves, including one on Gabriel Landeskog’s

short-handed breakaway, in a 4-3 overtime victory at Colorado on

Monday.

“That’s what Bob does,” left wing Nick Foligno told the league’s

official website. “I mean, he’s the MVP of this team. I don’t think

there’s any doubt about that. He makes huge saves and you need

that. He’s stepping up and doing that, and we’re happy to get him

some goals and get him some wins.”

The Blue Jackets need both as they battle several teams for a

playoff spot. Monday’s victory pulled Columbus even with Detroit

for the eighth seed, though the Red Wings have a game in hand.

The Blue Jackets, chasing the second playoff appearance in their

12-year history, have come a long way since being at the bottom of

the NHL standings Feb. 25 with a 5-12-2 record. Columbus has gone

15-4-5 since.

“We’re finding ways,” coach Todd Richards said. “That’s what

you have to do this time of year.”

The Blue Jackets haven’t done that much in Anaheim, where

they’ve dropped three of four following a 3-2 loss Feb. 18 in their

only visit this season.

Columbus, though, is in position to win the season series for

the first time since 2009-10 after Mark Letestu set up a goal by

the now-departed Derick Brassard and scored in overtime of a 2-1

victory March 31.

The Blue Jackets will be without defenseman Adrian Aucoin on

Wednesday after he left Monday’s game in the second period with a

lower-body injury. The club called up David Savard from the AHL as

a replacement.

It’s uncertain if Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler will miss a second

consecutive game with an upper-body injury.

The Blue Jackets, 2-0-0 on their six-game trip, haven’t won

three in a row away from Columbus since a team-best six-game run

Jan. 19-Feb. 18, 2011.

Anaheim has dropped five of eight at home since winning a

franchise-best 13 straight there Jan. 26-March 20.