for this game

Pronger's odd tally gets Ducks back on track

Jan 3, 2008 - 7:12 AM
By Craig Shultz PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- The Columbus Blue Jackets gave the Anaheim Ducks a hand on Wednesday.

Defenseman Chris Pronger snapped a tie late in the second period and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stood tall in the third as the Ducks edged the Blue Jackets, 2-1.

With time winding down in the middle session and Anaheim on a power play, Pronger wristed a shot toward the net from the left point. Columbus blue-liner Ron Hainsey attempted to snag the rising puck with his hand but instead deflected past goaltender Pascal Leclaire with 15 seconds remaining, giving the Ducks a 2-1 edge.

"Those are bounces that you get sometimes," Pronger said. "For a while, those were going against us. Thankfully, tonight we got some of those bounces."

"It hit my hand in front," Hainsey said. "I was kind of trying to catch it and I just missed it."

Leclaire called the goal bad luck.

"You try to stop it, and nine times out of 10, it's going to end up just in the slot," Leclaire said. "But tonight, it just didn't go our way. It's just bad luck, it's nobody's fault."

Giguere made the tally stand, turning aside all 10 shots he faced in the third. The netminder finished with 26 saves.

"They had some good shots," Giguere said. "I thought for the most part, I focused on the first save tonight. My defensemen did a good job of taking the rebounds away."

It was the Ducks' first home victory over the Blue Jackets since October 14, 2005. The road team had won eight of the last nine games in the series, including four straight by Columbus.

"That's what we needed in our home building, to be stingy, not give the other team too many scoring chances," Giguere said. "There's no hiding it, home games are going to be crucial until the end."

"That's all we were worried about, was getting those two points and getting that comfort zone in our building," Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf added. "Down the stretch, it's got to be a hard building to come into, and that's an atmosphere we have to create."

Getzlaf had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, extending his points streak to five games as Anaheim snapped a two-game skid. Todd Bertuzzi also stretched his points run to five contests with an assist.

"We need our best players picking it up now to hopefully (get to) June again," Pronger said. "We've got to slowly continue to build and get better with every game. It wasn't our best effort or the prettiest effort of the year, but when you get the results and you're able to win games like that, it helps you move in the right direction."

Andrew Murray scored his first NHL goal and Leclaire made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets, who saw their two-game winning streak halted.

"They play in-your-face type of hockey and we just ran out of gas a little bit," Leclaire said. "It was a pretty solid game, but then they got some momentum on their power plays, and in the third, they shut it down pretty good. It seemed that we didn't have any space all night."

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock praised Leclaire's play but was disappointed with his team's offensive effort.

"Our goalie gave us every chance to win tonight, but we didn't get it done," Hitchcock said. "It's the same old picture - we don't score enough. Our goaltending's been unbelievable on the road, but we don't score enough goals.

"I thought the difference in the game was, their players were their best players, and ours weren't. That's the bottom line."

Getzlaf opened the scoring with a nifty goal at 3:03 of the first period. After receiving a pass from defenseman Francois Beauchemin at the blue line, Getzlaf skated through the right faceoff circle and cut across the slot before lifting a backhander past Leclaire for his 15th tally of the season.

"What a great bounce," Getzlaf said. "I was actually just digging in and trying to be on the forecheck. I think (Beauchemin) tried to dump it and it ended up right on my stick, so I was fortunate enough to get that breakaway out of it."

Murray tied the game late in the session, taking a pass from Sergei Fedorov at the right point and skating down the right wing before firing a shot that Giguere stopped. The puck took a fortunate bounce back to Murray, who fired it off Giguere's left skate and in with 4:01 to go in the period.

"It's a little bit bittersweet, obviously, not getting the win but getting the first goal," Murray said. "It was just one of those plays where we worked hard in our own end and got an odd-man rush off it. (Fedorov) made a nice play up and I just kind of followed up on my shot and angled in the rebound. ... It was a pretty exciting feeling."

"I made the first save, and on the rebound, he hit the post, hit my skate and it went in," Giguere said. "A bit of a lucky bounce, but a pretty good effort on their part."

The Ducks successfully killed all five of the Blue Jackets' power plays. Anaheim has extinguished 33-of-36 penalties over its last eight games.

"Your goaltender is usually your best penalty-killer," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "Then it goes to your defense and your forwards, then the cohesiveness of your unit. I don't think we've taken as many penalties either. For a while there, it was ridiculous. We were taking nine, 10 penalties.

"That's tough to kill. That wears everybody down. If we can keep to having to kill under five a night, I think you'll see a huge improvement in anybody's penalty-killing."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 0 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN GETZLAF 15 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, CHRIS PRONGER)
    3:03
    COB - ANDREW MURRAY 1 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:59
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) CHRIS PRONGER 8 (TODD BERTUZZI, RYAN GETZLAF)
    19:45
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIO

    Jan 3 12:25 AM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 3 12:21 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 0 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN GETZLAF 15 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, CHRIS PRONGER)
    3:03
    COB - ANDREW MURRAY 1 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:59
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) CHRIS PRONGER 8 (TODD BERTUZZI, RYAN GETZLAF)
    19:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Jan 2 11:32 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ANAHEIM 2
    2ND PRD: ANA - (PP) CHRIS PRONGER 8 (TODD BERTUZZI, RYAN GETZLAF)
    19:45

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 2 11:32 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 2 10:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 1 1
    ANAHEIM 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN GETZLAF 15 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, CHRIS PRONGER)
    3:03
    COB - ANDREW MURRAY 1 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 8 8
    ANA

    Jan 2 10:41 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: COB - ANDREW MURRAY 1 (SERGEI FEDOROV) 15:59

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 2 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 0
    ANAHEIM 1
    1ST PRD: ANA - RYAN GETZLAF 15 (FRANCOIS BEAUCHEMIN, CHRIS PRONGER)
    3:03

    Blue Jackets vs. DucksJan 2 10:13 PM