Blue Jackets 2, Ducks 1 (OT)

The Sports Xchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Mark Letestu's goal with one minute remaining in overtime pushed the Blue Jackets into the playoff picture and stamped Columbus' month of March with a mighty exclamation point.

Letestu's ninth goal of the season, off a slick setup from Nikita Nikitin, lifted the Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks and moved Columbus into eighth place in the Western Conference.

The Blue Jackets were widely considered the worst club in hockey when the 2012-13 season dawned. Instead, they've been one of the NHL's hottest clubs for more than a month.

Derick Brassard scored for the Blue Jackets, while goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves.

It was a fitting way to end the month for the Blue Jackets, who went 10-2-4. The 24 points represented the best month in franchise history. The Jackets also extended their home points streak to 12 games, also a franchise record.

Emerson Etem scored for the Ducks, who have lost five of their past six games. Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller, who made 16 saves, didn't face a shot for the first 16 minutes of the third period.

After two wild games out West -- a 6-4 loss in Edmonton on Thursday and a 6-4 win in Calgary on Friday -- the Blue Jackets settled back into their preferred style of play, which features lots of tight checking and not many scoring chances.

The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 9:34 of the second period.

Letestu fired intentionally wide of the net and off the end boards, and Brassard played the carom perfectly, flipping it inside the near post before Hiller could cover.

It wasn't until early in the third that the Ducks pulled even.

Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen forced Blue Jackets winger R.J. Umberger into a turnover in his own zone, then watched Andrew Cogliano feed Etem for a clean look at Bobrovsky.

Otherwise, the game was played mostly a sleepy pace. The clubs combined for nine shots on goal in the second period.

NOTES: Umberger left the game bleeding late in the second period after getting punched by Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray during a puck battle. Umberger returned to start the third period. ... Anaheim outshot Columbus 17-1 in the third period. ... Blue Jackets winger Jared Boll, who is third in the NHL with 10 fighting majors, is out indefinitely with an upper body injury. He left Friday's win in Calgary. ... Anaheim begins a four-game road trip on Monday in Dallas, then plays six of their next seven in Honda Center. ... The Blue Jackets placed left winger Nick Foligno on injured reserve with an upper body injury.