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Ducks take another step back in loss to Blue Jackets

COLUMBUS 6, DUCKS 4

Anaheim loses the game, 6-4, and also loses its starting goalie, Giguere, late in the third period.

October 25, 2009|Robyn Norwood

The Ducks went down again Saturday, and so did goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

The way the puck bounced in the Ducks' 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, it's hard to say if it's good news or bad that the team they play Monday is the winless Toronto Maple Leafs.

"When you're going through a stretch like we're going through right now, it seems like when something has a chance to go wrong, it's going wrong," Coach Randy Carlyle said.

The Ducks lost their third consecutive game at the Honda Center, and are left to wonder about the status of Giguere, who has been bothered by a nagging groin injury and left the game with 3:22 remaining after giving up the winning goal on Fedor Tyutin's hurried shot from the blue line just as the puck was about to clear the zone.

"I don't even know what he did," Carlyle said of Giguere's injury.

Columbus took a 5-4 lead on Tyutin's goal, then sealed the victory with 16 seconds left when Rick Nash scored an empty-net goal with backup goalie Jonas Hiller off for an extra attacker.

Just like that, the Ducks' signs of progress evaporated. They scored two power-play goals, ending an 0-for-18 stretch, and scored enough goals to win, but didn't, falling to 3-5-1.

"It's a hard thing to figure out," said center Ryan Getzlaf, who had three assists as the first line seems to finally be getting comfortable. "We've got to do it, and we've got to do it quick."

The Ducks took a 1-0 lead in the first period but entered the third trailing by two, 4-2, after a four-goal second-period by Columbus.

They trimmed the lead to one when Joffrey Lupul swatted in a rebound at 4:56 of the final period.

It was Lupul's second goal of the game and third in two games after finding a spot on the top line with Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

The Ducks tied the score, 4-4, at 7:43 of the third when Teemu Selanne -- showing his speed on the right wing in transition during a power play -- redirected a pass from Saku Koivu past Columbus goaltender Steve Mason. But the rally faltered, and Tyutin's unlikely goal won the game.

"Every game, we let [in] two or three weird goals," Selanne said. "The puck is not bouncing our way. I don't think we deserve the bounces, but not like that. . . . It's just really frustrating right now.

"As players, we have to take more ownership and more pride," Selanne said. "Teams come here and win too easily."

Colorado, Phoenix and the Kings are among the teams distancing themselves from the Ducks, who expected to be contenders in the Western Conference.

"We're putting ourselves behind the 8-ball just like last year," Selanne said. "It's not easy to come back from eight points out after the trading deadline and make the playoffs like we did last year."

The Ducks' 1-0 first-period lead got away from them in the second.

The Blue Jackets' Antoine Vermette tied the score on a backhander at 8:12.

The Ducks responded with a power-play goal credited to Scott Niedermayer after his shot from the slot went in off the skate of Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore.

They had more worries than the power play the rest of the period, though, with Columbus taking a 4-2 lead into the third after scoring three goals in the late going, including two in 3 1/2 minutes by Jakub Voracek.

The Ducks caught the Blue Jackets, only to fall at the end.

"We're getting to desperate times," Carlyle said. "It's as simple as that."

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robynnorwood@verizon.net

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