ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks matched season highs in goals and power-play goals at the expense of one of the NHL’s lowest-scoring clubs. By the third period, all they had to do was preserve Jonas Hiller’s shutout.
Teemu Selanne scored Anaheim’s first two goals during power plays, Bobby Ryan added a pair of third-period goals, and Hiller posted his ninth NHL shutout in the Ducks’ 6-0 rout of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night
It was Anaheim’s largest margin of victory at home since beating Calgary on Dec. 20, 1996, and the Ducks’ most lopsided win overall since they topped Vancouver 6-0 on Nov. 9, 2006.
“We haven’t had many of them, so the feeling is great,” Ryan said. “Guys were loose in the third period, and you need that sometimes. You need games like that to boost some confidence and hopefully get the train rolling offensively.
“The puck was bouncing our way. It seemed like they were five feet away from it all night, and that’s going to lead to those things. We’ve had nights like that, so I feel for them.”
Matt Beleskey had a short-handed goal and an assist for the Ducks, who won for the fourth time in five games after losing two previous meetings with Columbus. Rookie Cam Fowler had three assists, and defenceman Lubomir Visnovsky added two. Hiller made 27 saves en route to his third shutout this season.
“When you spend more time in their zone than in ours, you obviously have a good chance to win,” Hiller said. “Everybody was working hard in front of me and there weren’t too many screens. It makes life a lot easier for the goaltender if you can see the shots.”
Ryan, moved to centre on the Ducks’ top line because of Ryan Getzlaf’s facial injuries, converted his own rebound less than 1½ minutes into the third. He added his 17th goal on a power play with 12:05 remaining.
“It’s been a tough adjustment,” Ryan said of his shift from right wing. “I’ve been comfortable at times, and then completely lost in our own zone at times. It’s just trial and error, and I’m starting to find my way into the support areas a little bit better.”
The two goals helped Ryan put aside his frustration over losing 10 of 12 faceoffs.
“I talk to guys and try to get a feel for the other team’s centres before the game. But I really struggled on the faceoffs,” he said.
The Blue Jackets are 1-8-2 in their last 11 road games after an 8-1 start that included a 4-3 win at Anaheim on Nov. 19. Columbus’ Steve Mason was replaced by Mathieu Garon with 13 minutes remaining after stopping 20 of 24 shots.
Columbus is tied with Minnesota for the second-fewest goals in the Western Conference (103), two more than Edmonton. The Blue Jackets were shut out for the second time and held to fewer than three goals for the 20th time (2-16-2).
“Even when we were down 2-0, we were getting a lot of chances and a lot of opportunities. But we couldn’t get one past Hiller, and it got ugly after that,” coach Scott Arniel said. “When things are going bad, that is usually what happens.”
Blue Jackets forward Matt Calvert, making his NHL debut two weeks after his 21st birthday, got the first penalty of the game 5:35 in when he was sent off for high-sticking Fowler in the face. The Ducks converted on the power play 13 seconds later when Selanne scored his first goal in nine games since returning from a groin strain.
Selanne made it 2-0 at 7:02 of the second with another one-timer after Visnovsky intercepted Derek McKenzie’s attempted clearing pass and started a tic-tac-toe play with Fowler. Selanne’s 618th career goal and 12th of the season came while Samuel Pahlsson was off for hooking.
“They capitalized on their power play and we didn’t capitalize on ours,” Columbus captain Rick Nash said. “Their PK did the job, and we couldn’t get the job done. You have to play the system right and do the right things if you want to get chances, and tonight we didn’t.”
NOTES: Columbus D Mike Commodore cleared waivers after requesting a trade this week. … Selanne has 121 multigoal games during the regular season, Ryan 16. … Anaheim C Todd Marchant’s season-opening goal drought reached 43 games. He is one of 10 NHL players who have played at least 40 games without scoring. The only other forward on that list is San Jose LW Jamie McGinn. … Columbus LW Ethan Moreau (ribs) began his second stint on the injured list this season. He also missed 17 games after breaking his right hand blocking a shot.