Ducks end losing streak, beat Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Cam Fowler joked it had been a long, long time between scoring hat tricks.
The Anaheim Ducks couldn’t have been blamed for feeling that way about winning, too.
Fowler completed his first career hat trick 36 seconds into overtime to help the Ducks end a seven-game losing streak, 3-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
“It was a product of being in the right place at the right time tonight, and I’ll take it,” the defenseman said. “I’m not complaining, but the main thing is our team found a way to win the game and kind of find a way to get off this losing streak. That was the main thing that came out of tonight’s game.”
John Gibson made 24 saves for the Ducks, who had been 0-5-2 since defeating the New York Islanders 4-1 on Oct. 17.
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice for the Blue Jackets, who lost the final two games of their three-game California road trip. Joonas Korpisalo made 27 saves.
Fowler scored on a one-timer from Adam Henrique to end Anaheim’s losing skid. It was Fowler’s 56th career goal, tying Francois Beauchemin for second-most by a Anaheim defenseman all-time.
Fowler also became the seventh defenseman in NHL history to cap a hat trick with an overtime winner. Anaheim defensemen are responsible for the past three such hat tricks, with Hampus Lindholm doing so on Dec. 21, 2017 and Lubomir Visnovsky on March 4, 2011.
Dubois earned a point for Columbus by scoring with 31.3 seconds remaining in the third period to tie the game at 2, but Fowler said the Ducks did not get down on themselves after conceding late.
“It sounds silly, but it was pretty positive,” Fowler said. “We’ve been through a lot as a team right now and I think it shows a lot about our group because we didn’t panic. We played a great hockey game, it would have been easy to get a little bit down after giving up a late goal like that. But luckily we regrouped and found a way to get a big two points.”
Henrique and Ducks coach Randy Carlyle each praised Fowler for his leadership and offensive contributions, which took on an added importance after captain Ryan Getzlaf was a late scratch because of an upper-body injury.
Fowler scored twice in the second period, tying it at 1 at 9:09 during 4-on-4 play and putting the Ducks ahead 2-1 at 18:26. He has three goals and two assists during a three-game point streak.
“You can’t put a bigger exclamation mark on Cam Fowler than what he was able to accomplish tonight,” Carlyle said. “I’m not saying he’s going to score three goals in every hockey game, but he drives a lot of puck possession and he’s got a lot of responsibility on the power play. On the other side, we ask him to play defense and defense is hard work.”
Getzlaf is considered day to day, but Carlyle did not know if he would be available to play at Los Angeles on Tuesday.
The Blue Jackets ended up earning three of a possible six points during the road trip, which coach John Tortorella considered a positive result for a team he said is lacking in confidence right now.
“Anything offensively will help us, and that’s a big point,” Tortorella said. “We leave the California trip .500 with a team that has zero confidence, so we’ll take those points and just try to keep on building ourselves up.”
The power play has been the most visible representation of Columbus’ recent struggles, as the Blue Jackets went 0 for 6 with the man-advantage and are 2 for 38 in their past 10 games. Artemin Panarin appeared to have scored a power-play goal early in the third period, but it came immediately after Alexander Wennberg tripped Ducks defenseman Jacob Larsson.
Tortorella thought it was a sign of progress that the Blue Jackets were able to put the puck in the net, even if it was waived off.
“We had opportunities to score, had a couple of rebound chances that we just missed,” Tortorella said. “Yeah, if they score a goal, sure it helps us. But we’ll take baby steps right now as far as just having them feel the puck and feel comfortable making plays. It’s a crazy dynamic with athletes. You just don’t know, so we got to try to help them.”
NOTES: Carlyle got his 460th win, tying Roger Neilson for 30th-most in NHL history. ... Blue Jackets D Seth Jones played in his 400th NHL game and had two assists. ... The Ducks allowed three shots in the first period, their fewest in any period in regulation this season. Anaheim had allowed at least 16 shots in the first period in each of its first 14 games.
Blue Jackets: Return home to host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
Ducks: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.