ANAHEIM – With a postseason berth already clinched, the Anaheim Ducks went up against a Columbus team with slightly more at stake, and that urgency ultimately showed tonight at Honda Center.
The Blue Jackets, who came into the game just short of the eighth spot in the West, tied the game halfway through the third and got the game-winner 2:19 into overtime to knock off the Ducks 3-2. Fedor Tyutin potted the overtime winner when Nick Foligno got the puck off a Ducks turnover, spun away from Saku Koivu and fed Tyutin for the tip-in.
With the point, Anaheim’s lead in the Pacific Division went up to seven points as they remained in the second spot in the West, five points in front of Vancouver. With help from a Detroit loss to Calgary, the Blue Jackets climbed into the eighth spot in the conference.
“They had better scoring chances than us," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "We talked about it between periods, before the game. The desperation. We got a point, but it’s not the point. It’s the playing more complete. We’re not playing complete."
Anaheim got out to a 2-1 lead 4:53 into the third period on one of the more unorthodox goals you’ll ever see. Kyle Palmieri kept the puck alive near the left side of the net and got it back to David Steckel. His shot hit off the skate of defenseman James Wisniewski, popped into the air behind goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, landed in the crease and spun back over the stripe. It was Steckel’s first of the year to boot.
Columbus, however, tied it about five minutes later, when Brandon Dubinsky backhanded the puck off Viktor Fasth’s leg pad, and Matt Calvert was there to send the rebound top shelf.
The Ducks had a chance to regain the lead with a few minutes left in regulation after a Jack Johnson interference penalty, but had that power play wiped out by a too many men on the ice minor. Columbus nearly got the clinching goal on their ensuing power play near the end of regulation and ultimately buried it in extra time.
The Ducks struck first on a power play following a Blake Comeau holding penalty, as rookie Sami Vatanen netted the first of his NHL career in his fourth game. Vatanen took the puck from Ryan Getzlaf and snapped a hard shot from the left wing circle into the back of the net. Bobby Ryan quickly grabbed the puck for Vatanen, who will likely keep that souvenir for the rest of his life.
“It’s a first goal so it’s good to get that one away," said the 21-year-old Vatanen. "It was a good feeling, of course, but it was a tough loss.
Columbus got even with 3:22 left in the second, as Wisniewski made a pinpoint pass near the top of the crease, where Comeau redirected it through.
That would be just the first time Columbus would fight back to tie it, as they continued their impressive second half of the season with a fifth straight win.
“I’m concerned," Boudreau said. "When you want to win all the time, it’s concerning. We played a good game against L.A., not so good against Dallas, not so good against Colorado, and not so good against these guys. You can’t use fatigue as an excuse. It’s the same for everybody.”
It was the last game at Honda Center before the regular season finale on April 27, as Anaheim embarks on a four-game trek through Western Canada starting Friday at Calgary.
“I think this is a good time to go on the road," said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano. "Good time to have a bonding trip right before the playoffs and play some good hockey, and go into the playoffs with it.”
2:19 - COLUMBUS GOAL - FEDOR TYUTIN - After a Ducks turnover, Foligno spins away from Koivu and has room to feed Tyutin, who tips it past Fasth for the game-winner.
0:00 - Here we go in OT.
20:00 - END OF REGULATION. We'll decide this with some free hockey.
19:59 - Columbus with a couple of close calls just before the penalty, and the period, end. We're going to OT.
19:04 - Johnson picks his spot and fires it into Fasth. Columbus takes timeout with 55.5 left.
17:52 - ANA Penalty - Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice. Costly bad change kills the Ducks power play.
16:37 - CBJ Penalty - Jack Johnson, 2 min. interference. Palmieri blocks Johnson's shot and heads the other way, with Johnson getting in his way. Easy one to call and Ducks get a PP.
14:34 - TV timeout with 5:26 left and a tie game. P.S. Detroit just lost to Calgary in regulation, so CBJ can jump into a playoff spot with a win here. Let's not let that happen.
9:43 - COLUMBUS GOAL - MATT CALVERT - Dubinsky comes from behind the net and backhands off Fasth. The rebound goes under Atkinson's stick, but Calvery is there to send it top shelf. Columbus staffer celebrates way too loudly for the press box and we're tied.
9:34 - Johnson rings the post with a shot, and the next sound is a Columbus staffer pounding the table a few seats to my left.
7:45 - Perry with a pinpoint feed in front to Cogliano, who spins and backhands off Bob's leg pad.
6:30 - Fasth with two big stops one on a shot from the slot, and one on the rebound try by Johnson.
5:54 - Fasth shows some athleticism by robbing with the glove.
5:32 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. hooking. CBJ will be on a 4 on 3.
4:53 - ANA Penalty - David Steckel and CBJ Penalty - James Wisniewski, 2 min. each roughing. Scuffle during and after the goal results in the 4 on 4. Second time a goal has been followed immediately by shoving and punching. Now that's hockey.
4:53 - ANAHEIM GOAL - DAVID STECKEL - In one of the odder plays you'll ever see, Palmieri keeps the puck alive near the left side of the net and it comes back to Steckel. He tries to put it on net, and it hits Wisniewski's skate, pops straight into the air behind Bobrovsky, lands in the crease and spins back like a sand wedge over the stripe. It's 2-1 Ducks. Bit of a scrap after the goal. See above.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, and it's a whole new hockey game.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Jackets get one back from Comeau and we're tied 1-1 going into the third.
18:55 - Vatanen throws one on net that surprises Bob, and he almost lets it through.
16:38 - ANA Penalty - Sheldon Souray and CBJ Penalty - Jared Boll, 2 min. each roughing After the goal, Steckel runs into Boll, and Boll gives him a shove, causing Souray to jump in and ignate a rumble. It breaks up and it's tied 1-1.
16:38 - COLUMBUS GOAL - BLAKE COMEAU - The Jackets even it up when former Duck Wisniewski delivers a pretty pass on the doorstep and Comeau redirects it past Fasth. A little bit of a tussle after the goal. See above.
14:53 - Fasth with a nice stop on Johansen, then grabs it out of the air with the glove. Some more fisticuffs involving Allen and a Jacket. This is getting a little chippy.
13:00 - Cogliano getting active, and fires a shot from the wing into the glove.
13:14 - Perry hits Nikitin near the wall , and Foligno wants a piece of Perry after that. Beauchemin steps in and does some yelling. Foligno suddenly not feeling as aggressive.
12:50 - Ducks doing some hitting out there -- first Koivu, then Getzlaf on Tyutin.
8:10 - Ducks escape when a clearing attempt goes off the official's back and the Jackets get a quick shot out of it.
7:50 - One-timer stopped and held by Fasth for his 10th save of the night. Timeout.
5:28 - Cogliano with a quick backand one-timer that draws this sound when Bob saves it: "yeah-AWWWWWWW!!!"
5:15 - Ducks with a couple of shots at it after Koivu gives Ryan a nice blind pass.
3:15 - Fasth with a nice stop on Dubinsky, who was racing down the left wing with Lovejoy chasing.
1:30 - Ducks have only allowed 25 shots on goal in the last four pull periods of hockey.
0:21 - And it's over.
0:00 - Here we go in the second, with some time left on Perry's penalty.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - Ducks get on the board thanks to the first of Vatanen's NHL life and it's 1-0.
18:21 - ANA Penalty - Corey Perry, 2 min. boarding. Perry throws Tyutin into the wall and they have words for each other but nothing more.
16:30 - Koivu with a quick shot that Bob didn't see coming, and he barely kicks it away.
11:37 - ANAHEIM GOAL (POWER PLAY) - SAMI VATANEN - That's been the problem with the Ducks power play -- no Sami Vatanen. The kid gets the puck in the left wing circle from Getzlaf and wrists a missile past Bob to put the Ducks on the board. It's the first of his NHL life, and Ryan grabs the puck immediately. It's 1-0 Ducks.
11:31 - CBJ Penalty - Blake Comeau, 2 min. holding. Ducks get another PP.
Not feeling like typing Bobrovsky all night, so we're going with Bob.
9:55 - Etem clearly okay, as he displays some fancy stick work before firing into Bobrovsky's logo.
9:17 - Fasth with two more big stops and Columbus hardly looked to be on the PK.
8:44 - Umberger hustles out on a shorthanded breakaway and Fasth denies him, then jumps on the loose puck. Big stop.
7:01 - Etem gets a cut on his face taped up and he's good to go. A baseball player would be out 4 to 6 weeks.
This just in: Male Tennis Ball has put the sweatshirt on.
7:01 - CBJ Penalty - Fedor Tyutin, 2 min. interference. Etem draws one when he chases the puck to the corner with Tyutin, takes a glove to the head and takes a spill. He goes into the wall hard, and they're looking at him on the bench. We'll see.
6:30 - Ducks get away with one when Atkinson's beautiful redirect from the slot hits the post. Fasth never saw that happen.
4:20 - Palmieri runs Bobrovsky trying to punch in a Perry feed. No call, thankfully.
Male tennis ball refusing to don the sweatshirt so far, instead holding it on his lap. Must be warm.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center.
As expected, Fowler and Sbisa out with injuries and Fasth in net for Anaheim.
Starters in bold/italics.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
JACK JOHNSON (A)
BRANDON DUBINSKY (A)
JARED BOLL (A)
TEEMU SELANNE (A)
SAKU KOIVU (A)
RYAN GETZLAF (C)
1 - 0 ANA
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 ANA
2 - 2 Tie