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Ducks Edge The Blue Jackets
By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks continued their homestand against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Lukas Dostal was in net against Michael Hutchinson.
The Ducks opened up the scoring just over three minutes into this contest. Ryan Strome had the puck near the front of the net and found Trevor Zegras alone at the side of the net for an easy score.
The Blue Jackets answered back halfway through the period. Liam Foudy passed the puck to Nick Blankenburg in the slot and he took a wrist shot that somehow got through Dostal and trickled into the back of the net.
Scott Harrington then scored a few minutes later to give the Ducks back the lead. He took a point shot from the blue line that beat Hutchinson over the left shoulder for the score.
In the final minute of the period, Boone Jenner scored to tie things up once again. Jenner took a wrist shot from the left face-off circle and beat Dostal high on his stick side.
Early in the second period, Max Comtois would score to make it a 3-2 game. He used Andrew Peeke as a screen and then shot the puck over Hutchinson’s glove for the goal.
Late in the middle frame, Columbus had a power play and they converted. Cole Sillinger tipped a pass from Kent Johnson in the slot beating Dostal for the tying score.
The Ducks once again took the lead early in the third period on a goal by Troy Terry. Colton White found Terry between a defender and Hutchinson for a tap in goal in the crease.
The Blue Jackets still would not give up and again scored on the power play to tie the game up at four. Patrik Laine split the Anaheim defense and took a shot which was blocked. He then skated to the left of Dostal, picked up the rebound and shot it in as he past the net.
The game remained tied with just three minutes to go until Max Jones got a breakaway and converted. He made a great move acting like he was going to shoot with his forehand and then he changed to his backhand at the moment of truth scoring what a would be the game winning goal.
Columbus pulled their goalie in the final minutes to try to get the tying score, but Anaheim added two empty goals to make it a 7-4 final. Harrington and Strome scored the last two goals of the game.
This was an action packed game that followed a script of the Ducks scoring and then Blue Jackets answering each time. It looked like this contest might have been headed to overtime, but Jones’ beautiful breakaway move proved to be the difference in this one.
In terms of shots on goal this was an even game with 42 being put up by Columbus and 38 by Anaheim. The Ducks did do a good job of blocking shots as they stopped 21 on the night. The special teams play advantage went to the Blue Jackets who converted on twice on their four play powers. The Ducks had two man advantages, but didn’t score.
Even though the Ducks won, for some this is viewed a loss in terms of draft position. If the Ducks had lost then they would have been in a closer position to the top draft position, which is currently held by the Blue Jackets. The Ducks are now fourth worst in the league with 13 games left to play.
Terry scored his 20th goal of the season.
Simon Benoit had his first career multi-point game with two assists.
Nikita Nesterenko joined the Ducks, but did not play in this contest.
The Ducks host the Vancouver Canucks Sunday at 5 PM.
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March 18th, 2023