Ducks win eighth of 11 to pull within striking distance of playoffs

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- After seeing Francois Beauchemin play
against them, the Columbus Blue Jackets might want him back.

Joffrey Lupul scored to snap a third-period tie, and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Blue
Jackets 4-3 on Sunday.

Lupul stepped up late, but Beauchemin caused Columbus trouble
all night.

Beauchemin, acquired midseason from Columbus for Sergei Fedorov,
scored the first goal, had an assist, got in a few scuffles and
cleared away a potential tying goal late for Anaheim.

The Mighty Ducks have won eight of 11 to get within striking
distance of eighth-place Vancouver in the Western Conference
playoff race.

"That's what happens sometimes when you battle hard, compete
and you want to win," Beauchemin said. "You've got to do whatever
it takes."

Travis Moen and Corey Perry also scored for the Ducks, and Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne had two assists each.

Nikolai Zherdev, Dan Fritsche and Rick Nash had goals for the
Blue Jackets, losers of four straight and 10 of 14.

"I am real disappointed," Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said.
"We played about 40 minutes. The Ducks were hungrier."

Columbus pressed for the equalizer during a late, two-man
advantage but the Ducks held on. Jean-Sebastien Giguere robbed Nash
from close range with 2 seconds left.

"The last 20 seconds there were a lot of shots, a lot of
rebounds," Beauchemin said. "Jiggy made the key saves there to
get the win."

With the game tied 3-3 in the third, Selanne slid a backhand
pass from the goal line to Lupul. The Columbus defense collapsed
low and Lupul, unchecked, fired the puck into an open net at 11:10
for the power-play score -- his 24th goal of the season.

"I was chasing the defenseman in, actually, for the puck beside
the net and his stick got caught in the net and broke his stick,"
Lupul said. "I'm sure Teemu must have known his stick was broken.
He just threw it to me, and the defenseman kind of couldn't do too
much there with no stick."

After Nash converted his 21st on another counterattack with
Zherdev to make it 3-1 early in the second period, Anaheim
responded quickly to tie it.

"Our players deserve the credit," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle
said. "They took the responsibility. We got down 3-1, we battled
back. We found a way."

Following a mad scramble near the Blue Jackets crease, Moen shot
the puck from the left corner and hit goalie Marc Denis, who was
backpedaling. The puck trickled inside the near post at 4:09.

Just 1:24 later, a shot nicked the stick of defenseman Radoslav
Suchy in the slot and found an open Perry, who snapped a shot past
Denis at 5:33 to tie it 3-3.

"We stuck with it," Lupul said. "We got a couple timely goals
there in the second."

With the game still tied, Carlyle replaced Ilya Bryzgalov with
Giguere at 11:24 of the second period.

"You hope that your goaltender, that no matter who's in there,
is going to provide you with a level of goaltending that you have a
chance to win," he said. "I didn't think we were getting that
early in the game, so I made the change."

A weak point shot through traffic by Beauchemin sneaked past
Denis to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead at 5:51 of the opening period.

Zherdev tallied his 25th on the power play to tie it at 13:11.
Streaking down the left wing, Nash flipped a pass to Zherdev, who
redirected the puck past Bryzgalov.

Just 43 seconds later, Fritsche deflected Suchy's long shot
after a faceoff win by Jan Hrdina to give Columbus a 2-1 lead.

Game notes
Fedorov missed his second consecutive game with a strained
back. ... Beauchemin, who had only two points when traded, has 29.
He entered tied for fourth in scoring among rookie defensemen. ...
Columbus is 7-3 against the Ducks at home. ... Anaheim had held
opponents to two goals or fewer in nine of 11 games. ... Linesman
Lyle Seitz injured a leg with 4:13 remaining and didn't return.