Anaheim tries to post consecutive road wins for the first time in more than six weeks Tuesday night when it faces a Blue Jackets team also playing its final game before the All-Star break.
Since dropping six of nine decided by one goal from Nov. 14-Dec. 16, the Ducks (27-20-4) have won five straight one-goal games. Each of their last three victories have been by one goal.
Saturday’s 4-3 victory at Montreal was Anaheim’s third straight in games decided by a shootout. The Ducks won despite blowing a two-goal lead in the third period and giving up two power-play goals after allowing one in their previous 10 games.
“We kind of let them back in the game by taking those penalties,” said Jonas Hiller(notes), who made 37 saves to tie for the league lead with 24 wins. “It shouldn’t have happened but that’s the way it goes. I think the difference right now is we still found a way to win. At the beginning of the year we let the other team come back and we would end up losing.”
Columbus (23-20-5) had played five consecutive one-goal games, going 2-1-2, before rallying with five unanswered goals to beat St. Louis 5-2 on Saturday in the finale of a four-game road trip.
The Blue Jackets lost the first games of the trip and had a 1-5-2 record this month before overcoming a two-goal, first-period deficit in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime victory at Florida.
“We’re starting to play better, to get things going,” captain Rick Nash(notes) said Saturday after extending his point streak to seven with his team-best 22nd goal. “To come in here and get two points against a team we’re going to battle for a playoff spot - that’s huge.”
Near the bottom of the Western Conference standings but well within reach of a playoff berth, Columbus has a chance to earn two more points as it plays its final game until Feb. 1 due to this weekend’s All-Star break.
The Ducks don’t play again until returning home Feb. 2 to face San Jose. First, they’ll wrap up a four-game trip trying to win back-to-back road games for the first time since Nov. 27 and Dec. 7.
Anaheim went 7-1-1 in Columbus from March 19, 2006-Dec. 12, 2009, before losing its only visit this season - 3-1 on Oct. 20.
Nash scored twice in that game and also found the back of the net as the Blue Jackets ended Anaheim’s season-high five-game home winning streak with a 4-3 victory Nov. 19.
Hiller lost both of those games but stopped 27 shots in a 6-0 win over Columbus on Jan. 7 in the teams’ latest matchup. It was the most lopsided score in 39 all-time meetings between these clubs.