Ducks look to keep resurgence going vs. Jackets
DUCKS (2-3-1) at BLUE JACKETS (2-2-0)
TV -- PRIME (HD), FS-O (HD)
Season series --
This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. The Blue Jackets took three of four meetings last season, but the teams split a pair of games at Nationwide Arena.
Big Story --
After losing their first three games, the Ducks seem to have righted the ship, winning two of their last three. The Blue Jackets are looking for a measure of consistency, having alternated wins and losses over their first four games.
The Bobby Ryan experiment at center is over, and now that he's been reunited with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the threesome is beginning to produce like they did last season.
Sunday against Phoenix, Ryan had 3 assists, Perry scored the game-winning goal and Getzlaf had a pair of assists. In the last three games, the trio has combined for 6 goals and 13 assists.
The Ducks are 2-0-1 in their last three games with 11 goals; they had just two goals in losing their first three games of the season.
Blue Jackets --
After watching his team hand Friday's game to the Blackhawks, coach Scott Arniel was tempted to overhaul his forward lines. Instead, he stuck with things and the result was a 3-2 win Saturday against the Wild.
Arniel showed the players video clips of the problems, and apparently that was enough to get the message sent.
"It was real quiet afterward," Arniel told the Columbus Dispatch. "There wasn't a lot of screaming and yelling, it was more like, 'Is that really how we want to play the game?'"
The second line of Nikita Filatov
, Jakub Voracek
and Derick Brassard
created numerous chances and Brassard and Voracek each had an assist. The fourth line of Derek Dorsett
, Derek MacKenzie
and Chris Clark
combined for 2 goals and 2 assists in the win.
"If you're going to challenge them, like we did, you have to give them an opportunity -- as lines and as a team -- to play through it," Arniel said. "I thought they pushed each other and made each other better."
Who's Hot --
Getzlaf led all scorers last week with 8 points in four games. His 2 goals and 6 assists earned him NHL Third Star of the Week honors. His 8 points on the season are tied for third in the League. … Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger
is off to the best start of his career. He has 3 goals -- including the shorthanded game-winner Saturday against the Wild, and he has at least a point in three of the Jackets' four games.
Injury Report --
Ducks rookie defenseman Cam Fowler is questionable for Wednesday's game after suffering a broken nose in Sunday's game against the Coyotes. … Forward Jared Boll
was placed on injured reserve with a back injury last Saturday. Defenseman Anton Stralman
(left shoulder sprain) and Mike Commodore
(broken left hand) are questionable for Wednesday's game.
Stat Pack --
Getzlaf's hot streak could get a boost against the Blue Jackets. In 19 games against Columbus, he has 8 goals -- 2 game-winners -- 24 points and a plus-11 rating. … Clark's 2-point game Saturday was his first multi-point game since Dec. 15, 2009.
Puck Drop --
Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman isn't known as an offensive force -- 33 goals in 660 NHL games coming into the season -- but after missing most of the preseason and the first four games of the regular season with blurred vision, he's managed to score a goal in each of his first two games this season.
"It feels great," Lydman told the Los Angeles Times. "If you just check my stats from previous years, I haven't been doing that too much. It's nice to put a couple in there. Especially when we win, it feels so much better."