Anderson goal lifts Blue Jackets past Ducks
COLUMBUS, Ohio — All signs pointed toward overtime Friday night, but the Columbus Blue Jackets keep finding ways to win.
Josh Anderson scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period to send the Blue Jackets a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Nationwide Arena.
After 26 games, the Blue Jackets find themselves atop the Metropolitan Division standings with 35 points.
“All smiles on all of our faces,” Anderson said.
In addition to Anderson’s team-leading 10th goal of the season with 4:54 left in the third, he also had two assists to help the Blue Jackets (17-8-1) to their eighth win in the past nine games.
“Andy feels it,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. “You could see it there.”
Anderson extended his points streak to a career-high five games.
“It’s a big win,” Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner said. “At home, 2-2 going into the third and finding a way to get it done. That’s really good to see.”
Artemi Panarin scored the tying goal in the second period, Brandon Dubinsky delivered a first-period goal and an assist, and Nick Foligno added an empty-netter with 28.8 seconds left to seal the win.
“It was not the prettiest game,” Foligno said. “We’re working toward getting better every day.”
Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois each had two assists for the Blue Jackets.
Panarin had pulled the Blue Jackets into a 2-2 tie and ended a dry spell for their struggling power play at 10:54. Dubois slid a pass from behind the goal to Panarin, whose shot beat Ducks goalie John Gibson just inside the far post.
Power-play goals are rare indeed for the Blue Jackets, who came into the game with by far the NHL’s worst power-play percentage at 8.8 percent.
But Columbus had plenty of chances. Seven, in fact, and Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said that led to the Ducks’ demise.
“The difference in the game as I look at it is we did some good things, but we had some undisciplined acts that cost us points,” Carlyle said. “You don’t give seven opportunities to their power play.”
Cam Fowler and Kevin Roy accounted for the Ducks’ goals.
Anaheim, which has lost five of its last six games, had taken a 2-1 lead at 2:32 of the second period on a breakaway by Roy. He received a pass from Adam Henrique and skated in on Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo, holding the puck before going five-hole.
Henrique and Joseph Blandisi made their debuts for the injured-riddled Ducks (11-11-4) after a trade with the New Jersey Devils on Thursday for defenseman Sami Vatanen that also involved draft picks. Henrique, who had 14 points in 24 games for the Devils, produced a point his first time out with his new team.
“I don’t if we played good enough to win the game, but we definitely played good enough to get it to overtime and get a big point,” Ducks left winger Andrew Cogliano said. “It’s embarrassing that we let a goal up with three minutes left (actually 4:54) and I was a part of that. It’s absolutely unacceptable. When you’re playing a good team like that, you have to get it to overtime.”
Korpisalo finished with 25 saves for his second straight win. Gibson stopped 27 shots for the Ducks.
“I thought Korpisalo was outstanding in the third period,” Tortorella said. “For him to get a couple of wins that’s really good for our team.
“As far as the game, I don’t know how to explain it. But we got up on the right side of it and that’s the most important thing.”
NOTES: The Blue Jackets travel to Washington to face the Capitals on Saturday night in their second back-to-back this week. ... The Ducks also have a back-to-back, traveling to Nashville to play the Predators on Saturday night. ... Blue Jackets G Sergei Bobrovsky did not start for the second straight game. The NHL leader in save percentage is scheduled to be in goal on Saturday at Washington. ... Ducks D Brandon Montour returned after missing Wednesday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues with an elbow injury. ... Blue Jackets LW Matt Calvert could return for Saturday’s game after missing 11 games with an upper-body injury. ... Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray sat out a second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Ducks D Antoine Vermette ended a 12-game goal drought with two Wednesday against the Blues in his first multi-goal game since March 2016. ... Ducks RW Jakob Silfverberg was out with an upper-body injury suffered Wednesday.