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Ducks snap three-game skid with win over Blue Jackets

Anaheim Ducks Frank Vatrano - The Canadian Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Frank Vatrano scored on a breakaway 2:40 into overtime and Lukas Dostal stopped 35 shots as the Anaheim Ducks snapped a three-game skid with their first road win of the season, rallying to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Tuesday night.

The Ducks twice erased one-goal deficits and pulled even with goals by Ryan Strome and Brett Leason on the way to their fifth straight win over Columbus.

“I thought our penalty killing really won the game for us," Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said. “A lot of guys did a great job blocking shots. They just kept persevering. I thought we were flat in the first period, standing around watching them skate, and we kind of woke up second and third periods. Just really happy with the energy and the effort our guys play with.”

In the overtime, Benoit-Olivier Groulx picked up a loose puck in his own zone and sent a pass to a streaking Vatrano near center ice, and the 29-year-old winger beat Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins on the stick side.

“Just quick transition play, three-on-three,” Vatrano said. “It was great pass and, and I was fortunate to put it in the net.”

Adam Fantilli had a goal and an assist, his first multi-point NHL game, and Emil Bemstrom scored for the Blue Jackets, who had a two-game wins streak halted. Merzlikins stopped 24 shots.

“I’m disappointed for the players,” Blue Jackets coach Pascale Vincent said. "They’re working hard. Anaheim is a hard-working team and they transition really well.

“We had our chances — (17) shots in the third period, (37) chances total. These are games we usually win.”

After squandering a pair of power-play chances in the first period, the Blue Jackets capitalized on a third when Bemstrom scored his first of the season from the left circle at 16:49. Ivan Provorov set up the goal with his fifth assist in five games.

The Ducks got the equalizer when Strome scored off an odd-man rush, burying the rebound of a shot by Pavel Mintyukov at 15:49 of the second, his first goal of the season.

The score remained tied until Columbus' Fantilli beat Dostal from the left circle at 9:13 for his second career goal and second in as many games.

That lead held until Leason beat Merzlikins between the pads at 16:13 of the third.

Vatrano secured two points for Anaheim with his overtime winner off a breakaway.


The game, set for 6:30 p.m., was delayed two hours when an underground cable that feeds power to the area failed and plunged Nationwide Arena into darkness at 1:06 p.m. Power was restored 4 1/2 hours later and the puck dropped at 8:30 p.m.


The Blue Jackets placed Patrik Laine on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 20 and recalled forward Dmitri Voronkov from AHL Cleveland, who did not play. Laine is day-to-day with an upper body injury suffered in Friday’s 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames.


Ducks: Visit Boston on Thursday.

Blue Jackets: Visit Montreal on Thursday.