COLUMBUS – Scoring the winning goal is nothing new for Corey Perry, but the Anaheim Ducks will never get tired of it.
Perry scored with 2:25 to play and the Ducks survived the loss of another player for a 4-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at Nationwide Arena.
His 24 game-winners since the start of the 2010-11 season rank second only to the 25 by Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Perry took a bouncing puck off the end board to the left of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. He faked shooting as he skated to the right, then put a shot over the sprawling Bobrovsky. He leads the Ducks with six goals.
“It was one of those ones that takes a weird hop and comes right to me,” Perry said. “If it didn’t go in I’d probably hear it from the bench. I knew what I had to do with it once I got by (Bobrovsky).”
Artem Anisimov had two goals for Columbus, including tying the game, 3-3, near the midpoint of the third period after Emerson Etem put Anaheim ahead earlier in the period during a five-minute power play.
Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky was given a major for interference and a game misconduct when he hit Saku Koivu in the face at 19:25 of the second period. Dubinsky did not leave his feet, but his shoulder appeared to hit Koivu in the jaw. Koivu did not return.
Dubinsky said he didn’t feel his hit warranted an ejection but he realizes The League is worried about all contact to the head area.
“I don’t agree with the call but the refs see it at game speed and have to make the call,” Dubinsky said. “I don’t think I’m a dirty player. I don’t think I was trying to target his head. I understand the league is trying to crack down on hits to the head. I don’t think it was. It's a game, we're all competitive and you want to make sure everybody's safe.
“Obviously I feel bad that Koivu didn’t return to play.”
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Koivu was knocked out on the play, but was walking around in the dressing room after the game. Boudreau said he had not watched video of the play and would not comment.
Dubinsky checked Koivu just after the Ducks player released the puck.
“I was going to finish the check,” Dubinsky said. “I know he moved the puck but it was less than a second between him moving the puck and when the hit actually happened. I think my shoulder and elbow were tucked.”
“I thought it would be a complete game changer if we don’t score on that power play,” Boudreau said.
Anaheim still had 2:36 of power play remaining after Etem scored, but were unable to add any insurance and it would come back to haunt them because Anisimov responded at 11:36 by redirecting a shot from the right point by James Wisniewski to make it 3-3.
Still, the Blue Jackets were unhappy allowing even one goal while being down for so long.
“Guys on the penalty kill take a lot of pride in it,” Blue Jackets forward Blake Comeau said. “I don’t think they were happy giving up one. We wanted to kill all five minutes.”
Once Perry put the Ducks ahead they held off the Blue Jackets despite taking their first penalty with 97 seconds remaining. Columbus pulled Sergei Bobrovsky for a two-man advantage, but managed only one shot on Frederik Andersen, who had 18 saves.
The Blue Jackets (5-6-0) had won the first three of a four-game homestand.
Anaheim (9-3-0) reached the halfway mark of an eight-game trip with a 2-2 record.
The game took a similar pattern to the Blue Jackets 5-2 win Friday as they took a 1-0 lead after one period – Comeau scored his first of the season at 12:56 – but allowed the equalizer quickly into the middle period.
Phil Kessel scored just 40 seconds in for the Maple Leafs, but Getzlaf bettered that, getting his fifth goal after 19 seconds off a pass by Corey Perry. Getzlaf one-timed the feed through the pads of Bobrovsky.
“We came out flat in the second period and they took advantage of it,” Comeau said.
Bobrovsky was also shaky on Anaheim’s second goal when he left the post unprotected for Holland’s first goal at 6:59.
Columbus was in the midst killing its third penalty when, just like Friday, it got a shorthanded goal.
Dubinsky had the Blue Jackets first man-down goal of the season against the Maple Leafs, but this time he set up Anisimov at 12:12.
The Blue Jackets had taken the momentum back but all that changed on the hit by Dubinsky.
Both teams had to reboot their lineups after losing a pair of players each in their previous games.
Also, Dustin Penner was injured Oct. 20 after a hit to the head by Ryan Garbutt of Dallas and has missed the past four games, but is skating again and could play in the next game or two.