Columbus
Blue Jackets
33-42-7
Anaheim
Ducks
48-20-14
SO
27 SOG
38 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
CBJ ()
ANA ()
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Blue Jackets-Ducks Preview

Wednesday, 03.14.2007 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets-Ducks Preview
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Anaheim Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks are pulling away from the rest of the Pacific Division and closing in on the Western Conference lead with their stellar play over the last month.

The Ducks look to win their sixth straight game and avenge a loss to lowly Columbus when they host the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

On Feb. 14, Anaheim (42-17-11) was clinging to a one-point lead in the division, but has earned a point in 12 of 13 games since to build a comfortable lead. The Ducks, 9-1-3 over that span, are also pushing Nashville for the top spot in the West.

Anaheim has won the first five games of a season-high eight-game homestand, with matchups remaining against Columbus (27-35-7), Chicago and Los Angeles, three of the four worst teams in the West.

The Ducks defeated Northwest Division-leading Vancouver 4-2 on Sunday, as Teemu Selanne scored two goals to become the first player to have two 40-goal seasons after turning 35.

"It was a great effort again, everyone did their jobs," said the 36-year-old Selanne, who has 41 goals this season after scoring 40 last season.

The All-Star has reached the 40-goal mark seven times, tops among active players. He has eight goals and eight assists in his last 12 home games.

Selanne had a goal and an assist in the first meeting of the season with the Blue Jackets on Jan. 5, but failed to convert a potential tying penalty shot with 21 seconds remaining in the third period and the Ducks lost 4-3.

That capped a disheartening effort in which Anaheim blew a 3-0 lead with just over 10 minutes left. The Ducks allowed four goals in the next nine minutes to suffer the stunning loss.

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere did not play in that contest because of a groin strain that caused him to miss 11 games, but he's 8-1-1 with a 1.36 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last 10 games against Columbus.

Giguere made 22 saves Sunday and has bounced back from a brief slump, going 5-0-0 with a 1.77 GAA since Feb. 25 after posting an 0-1-2 mark with a 3.22 GAA in his previous three games.

The Ducks have killed off all 20 of their opponents' power-play opportunities during their win streak, while scoring on 28.0 percent (7-of-25) of their chances with the man advantage.

The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, have thwarted just 73.1 percent (19-of-26) of opponents' power plays in the last six games, and converted only two of 22 (9.1 percent) of their opportunities during that span.

Columbus lost 2-1 to the Predators on Saturday to complete an 0-7-1 season series against Nashville.

"When a team beats you eight times in a row, it's pretty telling," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It doesn't matter what song you sing, it doesn't leave much doubt when they beat you eight times in a row."

Columbus has one goal in its last two games and has scored a league-low 169 goals this season.

The Blue Jackets and Ducks meet twice more, including closing out their regular seasons April 7 at Nationwide Arena.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '07ANA 4 at CBJ 3R. Getzlaf
Mar 29 '07ANA 5 at CBJ 2R. Getzlaf
Mar 14 '07CBJ 5 at ANA 4 - SOD. Vyborny
Jan 05 '07CBJ 4 at ANA 3M. Malhotra
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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