Rick Nash scored the only goal of the shootout, and the Blue Jackets ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks on Sunday.
Nash initially stumbled with the puck as he approached the Anaheim goal, but recovered to beat Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a backhander on the third Columbus shot of the tiebreaker.
The Ducks are having considerably less success after regulation, dropping to 2-7 in shootouts and 3-12 in overtime.
“It was definitely a lucky goal,” Nash said. “I came down and had a different move in mind, but he took that away. I had to adjust, and lost my balance. Lucky enough I stayed up and put it in.”
The Blue Jackets had lost four straight, including the first three games on a four-game road trip that ended Sunday.
“We played pretty good in the first two games, but didn’t get any points,” forward Jason Chimera said. “Tonight we came out and played well again. They got a goal to tie it, but we kept working. It was a key win for us.”
Anaheim fell four points behind eighth-place Edmonton in the Western Conference playoff race.
“Any point is going to be very important, so we should be happy about that,” Giguere said. “The only thing is we have to have a better start.”
Jaroslav Balastik and Nikolai Zherdev scored power-play goals in the first period to give Columbus a 2-1 lead. That stood up until the third period when Andy McDonald tied it for Anaheim with just 2:24 left in regulation.
The Ducks had a power-play opportunity in overtime but couldn’t beat Leclaire, who had 43 saves. He also stopped Anaheim captain Scott Niedermayer on a third-period penalty shot.
“It’s disappointing. I know we came back to tie it, but right now that’s not good enough,” McDonald said. “We’ll take the point, but it seems we have come out flat in the last three games after the break and that is hurting us.”
David Vyborny set up Balastik for a goal from the slot to give Columbus a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the game.
The Blue Jackets used the power play to retake the lead less than 2 minutes later on Zherdev’s fourth goal in four games.
Nash and Sergei Fedorov assisted on Zherdev’s goal, giving the trio 36 goals in 30 games since Nash returned from injury on Dec. 17.
“We are basically working for next season, the last 20 games it’s important for us to find the core chemistry of our team. This organization wants to make the playoffs,” said Fedorov, who was traded by Anaheim to Columbus for Beauchemin and Tyler Wright on Nov. 16.
“After the warmup I knew the fans were not going to boo me, that’s a good feeling,” said Fedorov, a former Red Wings star who is routinely jeered in Detroit whenever he touches the puck.
Anaheim assigned C Zenon Konopka to Portland of the AHL. … Ducks D Keith Carney left the game with back spasms and didn’t return. … Columbus forward Trevor Letowski missed the game with the flu. He became ill in Los Angeles on Saturday.