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Ducks-Blue Jackets Preview

AP - Sports

The Anaheim Ducks missed an opportunity to pick up an extra point on the road.

They didn't come away with any in their only visit to Columbus this season.

Anaheim continues its season-high eight-game trip Sunday night against the league-worst Blue Jackets, who surprisingly are seeking their fourth win in five games.

With a chance to end Detroit's 18-game home winning streak, the Ducks (21-24-9) lost 2-1 in a shootout Friday to open their trip. Anaheim outshot the Red Wings 30-24, but did not convert any of its seven power-play chances.

"We think we deserved a better fate,'' said coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team is 0 for 13 with the man advantage over the last three games. "But when you go 0 for 7 on the power play, even if you get three-four good looks, you don't expect to win."

Still, the Ducks have registered at least a point in 14 of their last 16 games and are 4-1-2 away from Anaheim since dropping a franchise-record 13 straight on the road.

The second loss of that skid was a 3-1 defeat Oct. 30 at Nationwide Arena. Anaheim had been 8-2-1 in its previous 11 trips to Columbus.

The Blue Jackets (16-33-6) return home following Saturday's 3-1 victory over Minnesota. R.J. Umberger scored the first two goals and former Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski added an empty-netter in the final minute after missing the previous 17 games with a broken ankle.

"The way our season has gone, I expected that puck (by Wisniewski) to kind of hit the post and lay in the crease,'' interim coach Todd Richards said.

While their season has gone poorly, the Blue Jackets' fortunes have seen an uptick lately. They've won three of four overall, beginning that modest surge Feb. 3 with a 3-2 overtime victory at Anaheim to snap a seven-game road skid. Now, Columbus gets to play six of its next eight at Nationwide Arena.

With Curtis Sanford day-to-day with a back injury, Steve Mason should be in net again after making 34 saves Saturday for his first victory in six starts.

"There's nobody on this team who's had a rougher season," Umberger, who snapped a seven-game goal-scoring drought, said of Mason. "He's a guy that can be so good."

Mason, a former Calder Trophy winner, is 1-0-0 despite a 3.75 goals-against average in two games against Anaheim this season. Mason turned aside 19 shots in the Ducks' October visit, but he lasted just one period after giving up four goals in a 7-4 loss in Anaheim on Jan. 8.

Corey Perry recorded his fourth career hat trick in that contest for the Ducks while Teemu Selanne found the back of the net twice.

Selanne, who also scored both Anaheim goals in last week's loss to Columbus, needs two points to pass Brett Hull for 21st all-time with 1,392.

Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash, who set up both of Umberger's goals Saturday, needs one assist to reach 250 for his career. Nash has six goals and two assists during a six-game home point streak versus Anaheim.

He will likely face Jonas Hiller, who has started 13 consecutive games since leaving the Jan. 8 matchup between these clubs with a lower-body injury.

This would be Hiller's first start of the season in Columbus after backup Dan Ellis made 18 saves in October.

These teams have alternated wins in their last six meetings at Nationwide Arena.

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