Anaheim Ducks Hang On to Defeat Columbus Blue Jackets in Jonas Hiller’s Return

Feb 18, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Anaheim, CA – The Anaheim Ducks returned home tonight and Jonas Hiller returned to the net in a winning effort over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets came out firing in the first period, but were only able to muster one goal. The two teams then traded momentum the rest of the game. The Ducks answered with two later in the first period. After a scoreless second period. The Ducks got their third of the night nearly halfway in the period. Then, Columbus responded with a goal a few minutes late, but the Ducks and Hiller closed ‘em out for the 3-2 victory.

After the great road trip, you could say that there was a question of how the Ducks would play in a possible letdown situation. Well, they certainly played the part of a letdown early on. The Jackets were peppering Hiller in the first portion of the first period. They finally broke through when a slap shot from the point hit Vinny Prospal in the chest, then hit his glove and found it’s way into the net. It was called a good goal on the ice, but would be reviewed. In my opinion it never looked like his stick made contact with the puck when he took a swat at it after it hit his glove, but the officials upheld the call on the ice, 1-0 CBJ. The Ducks started to pick up the play about halfway through the period. The Ducks finally got on the board after rookie Peter Holland scored on a breakaway on Sergei Bobrovsky, 1-1. He was leaving the penalty box and Bobby Ryan found him streaking towards the zone. It was at the tail end of a 4-on-4 and at the very beginning of a Ducks power play. Less than a minute later, Bobrovsky stops a Matt Beleskey shot but leaves a juicy rebound and Ryan Getzlaf put it in during the scramble for the puck, 2-1 ANA.

Feb 18, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller (1) blocks a shot attempted by Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) during the first period at the Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The second period was not too exciting. There was a scramble in front of Anaheim’s net in which Francois Beauchemin on his rear end made a goal saving stop while Hiller was out of position. Also, Bobrovsky made a nice stop on Daniel Winnik who received a nice feed from Saku Koivu.

The third period started off with Blue Jacket Derek Dorsett in the face with a deflected shot. He would be fine. Around the 8 and a half minute mark, the Blue Jackets took a penalty and Corey Perry would cash in quickly. He received a pass down low from Getzlaf and lifted over the shoulder of Bobrovsky up close. The puck was falling in when Bobrovsky made a sweeping motion with his glove and knocked in it, 3-1 ANA. Beauchemin was also right there if somehow it didn’t go in. The Blue Jackets made it a one goal game when Derick Brassard fought hard on a rebound to push it past Hiller to make it 3-2 ANA. Hiller made a couple of nice stops and Beauchemin once again knocked the puck out of the crease and the Ducks held on for the dub.

It really didn’t look good in the first period. Even though the Jackets did score, it could’ve been much worse. Hiller kept the Ducks in it early on. Then the Ducks struck lightning twice real quick and it was a whole new game. Coming into this game, it had been noted among Blue Jackets fans on how many 1 goal losses the team has had in recent years. Well, here’s another one just for you guys! It was another game where the Ducks definitely could have lost, but their goalie kept them in it and were able to pull out the win. Good teams find ways to win. That’s all I have to say!

Three Stars:

1. ANA Jonas Hiller (W, .926 SV%)

2. ANA Corey Perry (1 G, +1)

3. ANA Ryan Getzlaf (1 G, 1 A)

The Ducks now have FIVE days off until they host the Colorado Avalanche Sunday afternoon. They played the Nashville Predators earlier and won 6-5 with a highly controversial goal by Matt Duchene. If you haven’t seen it, just know that he was about 5 or 6 feet offsides on a breakaway and scored. Of course, the officials did not call it and the NHL officially apologized later!

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Topics: Anaheim Ducks, Bobby Ryan, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, Corey Perry, Daniel Winnik, Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, Francois Beauchemin, Jonas Hiller, Matt Beleskey, Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators, NHL, Peter Holland, Ryan Getzlaf, Saku Koivu, Sergei Bobrovsky, Vinny Prospal

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