Series (Game 4 of 4)

Columbus leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 24th
Blue Jackets6Final
Game 2: Friday, November 13th
Blue Jackets3
Game 3: Saturday, December 12th
Blue Jackets1
Game 4: Tuesday, March 9th
Blue Jackets5Final

Blue Jackets 5

(26-30-11, 63 pts)

Ducks 2

(30-28-8, 68 pts)

10:00 PM ET, March 9, 2010

Honda Center, Anaheim, California

1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 2 25
ANA 0 0 22

M. Garon (Blue Jackets - G): Saves: 36, Save Pct.: .947

S. Niedermayer (Ducks - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

J. Voracek (Blue Jackets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

Blue Jackets-Ducks Preview


The Olympic break didn't seem to give the playoff-hopeful Anaheim Ducks a boost. Even their play at the Honda Center has suddenly fallen off.

After a deflating defeat in the opener of a seven-game homestand, the Ducks look to bounce back in a matchup with the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

Entering the break, Anaheim (30-27-8) had won 14 of 20 and appeared in good shape to make a run entering the final stretch of the regular season. The Ducks had also won a franchise-record 11 straight games at home.

Since then, Anaheim has lost back-to-back games at the Honda Center and three in a row overall. With 17 games left, the Ducks are six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Anaheim's latest loss was particularly disheartening, giving up a 3-0 first-period lead before falling 4-3 in a shootout against Montreal on Sunday night. The Ducks have two more weeks of home games to get back on track.

"After a big win or loss, you just have to be able to regroup, forget the past and get ready for the next one," center Saku Koivu told the Ducks official Web site. "Where we're at in the standings right now and the points we need, we can't lose any extra points here. We have to be ready for the next one. These next two weeks are going to be critical for us."

Koivu, who faced the Canadiens for first the first time after 10 years as their captain, went scoreless for the second straight game. However, there were some bright spots for Anaheim.

Corey Perry's first-period goal extended a 10-game home point streak (four goals, eight assists). He has five goals and six assists in his last nine games versus the Blue Jackets (25-30-11).

Scott Niedermayer also scored, giving him three goals and five assist in his last seven contests. The Ducks' captain, though, is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since joining the team as a free agent prior to the 2005-06 season.

"It's pretty disappointing right now," he said. "We just need to prepare and compete as hard as we can in the next game."

Columbus is coming off a forgettable defeat of its own, 6-0 to Los Angeles on Monday night. The Blue Jackets also lost leading scorer Rick Nash in the first period because of an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Nash, who has 28 goals and 29 assists in 65 games, is uncertain for this game.

Even if Nash had played, the Blue Jackets may not have been able to avoid one of their worst losses of the season. They were outshot 26-5 through the first two periods en route to getting shut out for the second time.

"That was embarrassing," forward R.J. Umberger said. "We didn't play smart. We were our own worst enemies out there. We just need to use our heads and compete."

It was the third straight road loss for Columbus, which has been held to one goal or none in each of those contests. The Blue Jackets, in 14th place in the West, have lost five in a row overall.

After making the playoffs last season for the first time in its history, Columbus is now 13 points out of a postseason spot with 16 games remaining. The Blue Jackets, though, have won two of three against the Ducks.