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

sure.”

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

tonight.”

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

two helpers.

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

Brown.

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

period.

First, Ryan made it 2-0 with a spectacular, highlight-reel

goal.

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

the net.

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

game.”

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.