Mar 31, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu (10) celebrates the game-winning goal during overtime against the Anaheim Ducks at Nationwide Arena. Columbus won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets Steal Win Away From Anaheim Ducks In Overtime

Mar 31, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets players swarm Columbus Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu (10) after his game-winning goal in overtime against the Anaheim Ducks at Nationwide Arena. Columbus won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus, OH – The more deserving team did not win this one. Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stonewalled the Anaheim Ducks offense and Jonas Hiller gave up a couple of softies. The Jackets won 2-1 in the overtime to move to 15-14-7 and into eighth place in the Western Conference. The Ducks fall to 23-7-5 and remain in second place in the conference.

The Ducks actually got off to a shaky start in which the Blue Jackets got a couple of good scoring chances. However, Hiller denied them all. The first period ended without any goals. Blue Jackets fans thought they got a goal early on when a shot from Mark Letestu ricocheted off of Hiller’s back and off the crossbar, but obviously no goal. Each team had a power play in the period.  Early in the second period, Corey Perry rung one off the crossbar. So, if you’re counting, it’s a 1-1 tie in crossbars. The Blue Jackets scored first about halfway through the period. Letestu snapped a point shot off the end boards and it came right to the side of the net where Derick Brassard batted it over Hiller’s glove. Bad goal allowed by the defense and by Hiller. The second ended 1-0 CBJ. Emerson Etem answered for the Ducks early in the third as he beat Bob short side from inside the right circle. Andrew Cogliano made a nice back hand pass from the boards to Etem who drifted into some open space. After a few more quality scoring chances for the Ducks, the game went into over time. After Hiller made a real nice stop on Cam Atkinson, the Blue Jackets got the puck right back and Letestu found some open space and took a pass from Nikita Nikitin to beat Hiller for the game-winner. Hiller got a good chunk of the shot with his blocker but it still got by him. Another softie that he should have saved.

The Ducks got a point, but that’s not good enough in a game like this. The Blue Jackets had a total of 18 shots on goal the entire game and only five in the second and third periods. The Ducks on the other hand had 30 shots on goal, including 17 in the third. It was not one of Hiller’s better games since both of the goal should’ve been stopped, in my opinion. Andrew Cogliano had a real nice game and Bruce Boudreau made a point to get him on the ice as much as possible. The same could be said for rookie Emerson Etem who was buzzing all over the ice. His speed is so evident every time he gets on the ice. I have been very impressed with his play most of the time. It is obvious that the Ducks should have won this game, and Boudreau noted that by saying:

“We’re missing opportunities that guys shouldn’t be missing. They’re right in front of the net.”

Nothing more needs to be said about that. The power play that at one point was the best in the league is also in a cold spill. They have converted just once in their last 11 games and they’re percentage has dropped to 22.1%, which is still good enough for 6th.

Three Stars:

1. team.teamCommonName Mark Letestu (G, A, +2)

2. team.teamCommonName Sergei Bobrovsky (W, 29 SV)

3. team.teamCommonName Derick Brassard (G, +1)

The Ducks finish off the back-to-back tomorrow night when they visit the Dallas Stars (16-15-3) who will also be looking for a big two points to put them back in the playoff picture.

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Tags: Anaheim Ducks Andrew Cogliano Bruce Boudreau Cam Atkinson Columbus Blue Jackets Corey Perry Dallas Stars Derick Brassard Emerson Etem Jonas Hiller Mark Letestu NHL Nikita Nikitin Sergei Bobrovsky

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