Ducks 3, Blue Jackets 1
Dan Sexton’s excellent adventure continued and the Anaheim Ducks
didn’t let another game slip away late.
Sexton, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry scored goals, and Jonas
Hiller stopped 35 shots to power the Ducks past the Columbus Blue
Jackets, 3-1 on Saturday night.
Sexton, a member of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose just a few days
ago, scored his fourth goal in his fifth NHL game since being
called up Dec. 4.
“If you would have told me by the end of the weekend I would
have accomplished what I have … I’d have a pretty hard time
believing it,” said Sexton, an undrafted free agent who played
college hockey just a couple of hours away at Bowling Green.
“I just wanted to come in and play my hardest and contribute.
But, to get some good bounces and play with some great players,
contribute the way I have, it has been a special week for
On Friday night, Anaheim blew a two-goal lead in the third
period of an overtime loss at Detroit. Not this time.
“We tried to take on the attitude that we were going to build
off of last night’s third period,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
“We couldn’t let that type of thing happen to our hockey club
It was Hiller’s first win since Nov. 19 and ended a personal
three-game losing skid.
Ryan had an assist to go with his goal, and Ryan Whitney added
R.J. Umberger had the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who had
won both earlier meetings with Anaheim this season but have lost 10
of their last 12 overall. They got more bad news during the game
when forward Derek Dorsett broke his hand in a fight with Mike
The Ducks, who came in having lost six of seven, weathered
almost a minute with a two-man disadvantage while holding a
one-goal lead early in the third period.
“That’s the turning point of the hockey game,” Columbus coach
Ken Hitchcock said. “We’ve scored on them all year and I don’t
even know that we got a quality look. We stumbled around. We had
shots blocked and cross-ice passes picked off.”
Perry scored the clincher while the Ducks where hanging on to a
2-1 lead. With 6:13 left and Anaheim on the power play, Whitney
backhanded a perfect setup to Perry in the high slot who one-timed
it in for this 16th goal of the season.
“(Killing) that 5-on-3 was huge for us,” Perry said. “If we
killed that off, we were in a great situation. Then we get the
power play right after that, get the goal. It was a great pass from
Whit. I just got enough wood on it.”
The teams traded goals in the final minute of the second
First, Ryan made it 2-0 with a spectacular, highlight-reel
He took a long pass from Sheldon Brookbank at the blue line and
then skated around defenseman Kris Russell while barreling toward
the goal. Ryan was tripped by Russell’s stick as he bore down on
Mason. While flying horizontal to the ice, he flicked the puck into
It was Ryan’s 50th career goal and 14th of the season.
Less than 20 seconds later, Columbus cut the lead in half when
Umberger collected the puck behind the goal line, moved it to his
forehand, and threw it on net. It hit Hiller’s left skate and went
into the net.
One of Hiller’s biggest saves came when he stymied Raffi Torres’
backhander off a rebound midway through the third.
“We had a great chance last night to win the game but we gave
it away in the third,” said Hiller, who watched Jean-Sebastien
Giguere in goal against the Red Wings. “We were able to keep going
in the third (tonight) and didn’t get any goals against. That was
huge. Also, for the confidence of the team.”
The Ducks came in winless (0-2-2) in the second games of
back-to-backs this season.
“Playing back-to-back games on the road is life in the NHL,”
Carlyle said. “We’re not really proud of our road record (3-5-5)
yet. Those things are all things that you use to motivate people.
In the end the players laid it on the line. Was it a perfect road
game? No. But we did what we had to do to win the hockey
NOTES: Earlier in the day, Columbus activated LW Fredrik Modin
off the injured list and assigned C Derek MacKenzie to the club’s
AHL affiliate in Syracuse. … Brown played in his 99th career NHL
game for the Ducks.