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Columbus Blue Jackets best Ducks in OT, 3-2

Ducks don't quite look in playoff form in loss at home.

April 17, 2013|By Lance Pugmire

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The Ducks are just five games away from the playoffs.

A three-game losing streak with a four-game trip to Canada starting Friday does not qualify as momentum.

Wednesday, the playoff-motivated Columbus Blue Jackets beat the playoff-qualified Ducks, 3-2, in overtime at Honda Center, heightening the home team's angst over how prepared it is for the postseason.

BOX SCORE: Columbus 3, Ducks 2 (OT)

"We're not playing complete," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I'm concerned."

Columbus (21-16-7) won the game 2 minutes 19 seconds into overtime when defenseman Fedor Tyutin re-directed a shot by teammate Nick Foligno through Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth's legs.

Fasth, with 25 saves, was especially strong in net at times and he maintained the Ducks (27-10-6) can still return to winning form, but he joined the others in his dressing room by departing with a bitter taste.

"It was a tip right in front of me, I didn't really see the guy," Fasth said. "I should've had that one."

The Ducks took a 2-1 lead early in the third period when center David Steckel swatted at the puck next to a goal post. It oddly deflected off the bar, straight up.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, the puck dropped to Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky's left, leaving Blue Jackets wing Vinny Prospal to desperately extend his stick toward it.

But it hit the ice and slid into the goal.

Fasth held Columbus scoreless for more than 36 minutes until a pass from Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski to left wing Blake Comeau was converted into a goal.

Comeau's shot slipped past Fasth's outstretched right leg with 3:22 remaining in the second period.

The Blue Jackets answered Steckel's goal less than five minutes later when Matt Calvert scored on a rebound with 10:17 left in the third.

That was crucial for the Blue Jackets, who learned Detroit had lost to Calgary around the same time.

By forcing overtime, Columbus passed the Red Wings to move into the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot with four games remaining.

The Ducks, after back-to-back losses in which they scored one goal apiece against the Kings and Colorado, are yearning to return to their former standing as one of the league's elite scoring teams.

It took a youngster new to the roster to break the ice.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen, 21, playing in his fourth game and one day from being recalled from the minor leagues, followed a holding penalty against Comeau by firing a hard shot over Bobrovsky's glove.

Vatanen smiled widely at his first NHL goal, and so did his drought-affected teammates. The rookie later hit the post with just over five minutes left in the third.

Vatanen's offense was especially appreciated because the Ducks were missing two key defensemen Wednesday.

Cam Fowler remained sidelined with an upper-body injury suffered last week and Luca Sbisa was scratched with a lower-body injury.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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