NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, April 17th
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (20-16-7) at Anaheim Ducks (27-10-5), 10 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets look to match their longest
winning streak of the season on Wednesday night as they continue their hunt
for a playoff spot against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Blue Jackets have made the postseason just once since joining the league
as an expansion club for the 2000-01 campaign, but they are right in the mix
this year thanks to four straight wins and a victory in seven of their last
Columbus enters play tied with Detroit for the eighth spot in the Western
Conference with 47 points, though the Red Wings have a game in hand and visit
the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
The Blue Jackets will look to keep the pressure on by matching their season-
best five-game winning streak set from March 3-10.
Columbus was in danger of leaving Colorado without a point, but R.J.
Umberger's goal with 1:27 left in the third period on Monday forced overtime
and Nick Foligno finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Umberger by wristing home the
game-winner with 29 seconds remaining in the bonus frame.
"I saw R.J. was covered, so in that instance I just wanted to get a shot on
net, and I took a chance," recalled Foligno.
Blake Comeau and Mark Letestu also scored in regulation for the Blue Jackets,
who got 29 saves from the red-hot Sergei Bobrovsky. The Columbus netminder
claimed the victory on the same day he earned his second First Star of the
Week this season.
The Blue Jackets have won the first two of a six-game swing, improving to
7-11-2 as the guest this season. Their road trip takes them through the
second-to-last game of the campaign before closing out the regular season at
home versus Nashville on April 27.
The Ducks, meanwhile, have already secured a playoff spot, but consecutive
losses have prevented them from moving closer to a Pacific Division title.
Anaheim is six points ahead of the second-place San Jose Sharks and Los
Angeles Kings, who beat the Ducks 2-1 on Saturday.
Ryan Getzlaf scored the Ducks' lone goal shorthanded versus the Kings, while
Viktor Fasth made 16 saves in defeat. He was perfect in the third period, but
Anaheim couldn't cash in on a late power play in the game.
"We had one opportunity on the power play at the end and we didn't take
advantage of it. They took advantage of theirs," Getzlaf said.
Anaheim had won four of five before the consecutive setbacks and have been
held to a pair of goals or fewer in four of five and seven of their last nine
The Ducks will play their next four on the road following tonight's game and
are 16-6-0 at home while going 11-4-5 on the road this season.
They are 5-1-2 in their past eight versus the Blue Jackets and have won three
of the past four in Anaheim.
04/17 10:51:36 ET