for this game

Malhotra, Klesla spark Blue Jackets' comeback vs. Ducks

Jan 6, 2007 - 8:01 AM
ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Manny Malhotra was at the right place at the right time to cap a startling comeback.

Malhotra snapped a tie with 80 seconds remaining and defenseman Rostislav Klesla scored twice as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from a three-goal deficit for a 4-3 victory over the slumping Anaheim Ducks.

Columbus ended a five-game road losing streak by scoring all its goals in the final 10:02 of the third period and surviving a penalty-shot attempt by Teemu Selanne with 21 seconds to go.

"It definitely wasn't an easy game," Malhotra said. "It's good for us in the sense that we got the two points and we came back from three goals. It was kind of a consistent lull through the first two periods. We really have to up our game and not have to play so much catch-up hockey."

"We fought and we battled the whole night," Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We didn't score on some of our chances in the first half of the game. Then we seemed to score on our chances in the end. We stayed with it and didn't quit. We kept going at them and that was a good sign."

After Fredrik Modin tied the game for the Blue Jackets with 2:41 left, Malhotra stole the puck in the offensive zone and fed Nikolai Zherdev, whose shot from the left faceoff circle was stopped by goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. However, Malhotra knocked home the rebound to give Columbus the lead.

"We knew we just wanted to get a lot of pucks at Bryzgalov and just play dirty hockey, whacking at rebounds," Malhotra said. "Basically what happened, he got the puck down low and the puck was just sitting there for me and I went hard to the net."

"There are certain things we pride ourselves on as far as playing strong defensive hockey, and that went out the window and we couldn't curtail it," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "It was like we were destined to lose this hockey game."

Alexander Sitov was guilty of covering the puck in the Blue Jackets' crease in the waning moments, leading to a penalty shot that could have knotted the contest. However, Selanne - who scored his 24th goal 96 seconds into the period to give Anaheim a 3-0 lead - was stopped by netminder Fredrik Norrena.

"I just tried to stay patient and make myself big," Norrena said. "I just made a good save. I thought he might go backhand, but he came from the other side, which surprised me a little bit. But in a good way."

"To have a 3-0 lead in our own building and do that, it's embarrassing," Selanne said "There's no way we should lose like that. It's embarrassing and that's the only word I can use to describe this whole thing. It was ugly."

Klesla ignited the rally at 9:58 of the final session and netted his second of the game and fifth of the campaign with 3:14 left.

"When we got the first goal, it just seemed like everything let loose and it just took off from there," Hitchcock said. "Everybody just thought we could score again. It was like a breath of fresh air. It snowballed from there in a good way."

Norrena made 33 saves for the Blue Jackets, who improved to 11-8-2 under Hitchcock.

"We're aware of the standings and what it takes (to make the playoffs) but we're not really thinking about that," Modin said. "For us, it is more to get our game together and try to put a couple of wins together, especially on the road."

Making just his 10th appearance of the season, Bryzgalov stopped 29 shots for Anaheim, which lost its fourth in a row and fifth in six games.

"We'd better realize why it happened before it affects us hard," Ducks captain Scott Niedermayer said. "We've got to do better. We've got to commit to being better. It's not going to happen by itself."

The 36-year-old Selanne was honored in a pregame ceremony for scoring his 500th goal on November 22 and becoming the third Finn and 14th European to play his 1,000th game on Sunday.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0 4 4
    ANAHEIM 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) ANDY MCDONALD 12 (TEEMU SELANNE, ROB NIEDERMAYER)
    5:39
    ANA - TRAVIS MOEN 5 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, SHAWN THORNTON)
    14:57
    3RD PRD: ANA - TEEMU SELANNE 24 (ANDY MCDONALD) 1:36
    COB - ROSTISLAV KLESL

    Jan 6 12:36 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 4
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: COB - MANNY MALHOTRA 5 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV) 18:40

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 6 12:32 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 3
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: COB - FREDRIK MODIN 10 (DAVID VYBORNY, ALEXANDER SVITOV)
    17:19

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 6 12:29 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: COB - ROSTISLAV KLESLA 5 (ALEXANDER SVITOV) 16:46

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 6 12:28 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: COB - ROSTISLAV KLESLA 4 (NIKOLAI ZHERDEV, ALEXANDER SVITOV)
    9:58

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 6 12:16 AM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ANAHEIM 3
    3RD PRD: ANA - TEEMU SELANNE 24 (ANDY MCDONALD) 1:36

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 6 12:03 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0 0
    ANAHEIM 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) ANDY MCDONALD 12 (TEEMU SELANNE) 5:39
    ANA - TRAVIS MOEN 5 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, SHAWN THORNTON)
    14:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 10 9

    Jan 5 11:43 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ANAHEIM 2
    2ND PRD: ANA - TRAVIS MOEN 5 (SCOTT NIEDERMAYER, SHAWN THORNTON) 14:57

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 5 11:33 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ANAHEIM 1
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) ANDY MCDONALD 12 (TEEMU SELANNE) 5:39

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 5 11:16 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 0 0
    ANAHEIM 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 10 10
    ANA 5 5
    GOALIES: COB - FREDRIK NORRENA
    ANA - ILYA BRYZGALOV

    Jan 5 10:47 PM