Tuesday, February 04, 2014
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Blue Jackets ease past league-leading Ducks

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[February 04, 2014]  ANAHEIM, Calif.  The NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks are in the midst of a rough patch. Making matters worse, according to coach Bruce Boudreau, it that he doesn't sense any urgency from his club.

"Today, we just got outworked. We lost all the one-on-one battles, and when you do that, the other team is just hungrier than you are right now," Boudreau said.

After being almost unbeatable at home, the Ducks dropped a second straight home game and fell for the third time in their past four contests at Honda Center, falling 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.

The Blue Jackets (29-23-4) captured their third in a row and handed the Ducks (40-13-5) a second consecutive loss.

"We had a huge game from a lot of guys," said Columbus left winger Nick Foligno, who scored twice in the third period, giving him 15 goals this season. "We're kind of a forechecking team, and if we're not doing that, we're not a good team. That's kind of our mentality each and every night, to make sure we're on pucks quick and smother their defense."

Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 34 shots, smothered the Ducks for two periods before allowing two goals in the third. He made an impressive leg save of a point-blank shot by center Andrew Cogliano in the second period. Bobrovsky, who has won 12 of his last 14 starts, also made an outstanding glove save of an attempt by center Daniel Winnik early in the third.

Anaheim, which hadn't scored in more than five periods, finally got one past Bobrovsky at 5:45 of the third. Left winger Patrick Maroon backhanded a pass to center Mathieu Perreault, who scored, cutting the Ducks' deficit to 2-1.

Foligno delivered three minutes later, scoring on a rebound of a miss by left winger R.J. Umberger, who had two assists. Foligno scored on another rebound at 13:07, this one coming off the stick of right winger Cam Atkinson on a two-man advantage for a 4-1 lead.

"This is huge for us," Foligno said. "That's a good team over there. They obviously play well at home. We were just trying to get on them as much as possible and force turnovers. That was the case tonight."

Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf scored his 27th goal by punching in an attempt by defenseman Hampus Lindholm with 3:19 remaining, but it had no bearing on the outcome.

"It's frustrating with our effort and our start of the game," Getzlaf said. "We're not ready to play. They came out and they played hard. Their goaltender played well early, and we just didn't respond. We didn't keep playing the game."

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Anaheim netminder Frederik Andersen, who lost for the first time on home ice in eight starts, made 29 saves.

The Ducks were coming off a 2-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. Though they are 22-4-2 at Honda Center, the Ducks have lost four of six at home the past two weeks. Next up is a Wednesday visit from the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

"It's probably great that Chicago is coming in," Boudreau said. "It's a team that if we don't play up to our best level, we're going to get our butts kicked. It's never good to see Chicago because they're a great team, but maybe it's what we need."

Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen converted a pass from behind the net by right winger Nathan Horton and fired it over the left shoulder of Andersen for a 1-0 Columbus lead with 8:50 left in the first period. It was Johansen's 23rd goal.

Columbus made it 2-0 when defenseman James Wisniewski ripped a shot from the top of the circle that deflected off the right skate of Umberger for a power-play goal with 3:17 remaining in the second period.

"We are really playing to our identity right now," Umberger said. "We are working hard. We are a gritty team."

NOTES: The Ducks held an 8-2 margin in shots on goal midway through the first period before the Blue Jackets attempted the final eight for a 10-8 advantage in the period. ... Anaheim has a 16-8-1 mark when its opponent scores first. ... The Ducks recalled C David Steckel from AHL Norfolk on Saturday. ... The Blue Jackets recalled D Tim Erixon from AHL Springfield on Sunday. ... Columbus, one of the league's youngest clubs, has six players who have played fewer than 100 games. They include C Boone Jenner, D Cody Goloubef, G Curtis McElhinney, D David Savard, RW Corey Tropp and D Ryan Murray. ... Columbus resumes its West Coast swing Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings and Friday against the San Jose Sharks. ... The game drew a crowd of 14,044.

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