Zegras, Rakell SO goals lift Ducks over Blue Jackets 2-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Trevor Zegras and Rickard Rakell scored in the shootout and the Anaheim Ducks rallied past the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 Thursday night for their second straight win.
Isac Lundestrom scored for Anaheim and John Gibson stopped 33 shots for his fourth straight win against Columbus.
“Anytime you can find a way to get two points on the road, it’s a win,” Gibson said. “It might not be the prettiest, and especially with some guys out, but finding ways to get points and especially get wins is huge. Hopefully it’s going to help us a lot down the long run.”
Alexandre Texier scored for the Blue Jackets and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 25 shots in the loss.
Columbus has lost six of seven.
“We ran into a pretty good goalie, and we had some good looks,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “There are going to be tight games. We’ve got to try and find a way to squeak out that other point, but the effort was good.”
Texier put Columbus on the board first, burying a cross-crease pass from Eric Robinson 8:02 into the first for his career-high ninth goal of the year. Texier has 12 points in the past 16 games.
The lead was short-lived, as Lundestrom took a lucky bouncing puck and beat Merzlikins 1-on-1 at 10:23 of the first.
“It’s been rare that where we’ve had more than two guys having an off night,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “Tonight, we had seven or eight. When that’s happening, that puts a lot of pressure on our goaltender. But thankfully we have a world-class one in Gibby. That was just an unbelievable performance.”
Zach Werenski appeared to put Columbus back in front just 52 seconds into the second period but the goal was waved off for offsides, the fifth such call against Columbus in the past eight games.
Anaheim has points in its past six games.
Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist left with an upper body injury midway through the second period and did not return.
Columbus’ Eric Robinson and his older brother, Buddy, an Anaheim wing, faced each other for the first time ever. The brothers had never before played against one another at any level. Buddy Robinson, 30, was recalled Dec. 1 from the San Diego Gulls of the AHL and made his Ducks debut Monday. Eric Robinson, 26, has three goals in 25 games for Columbus and had an assist Thursday.
Former Blue Jackets first-round pick Sonny Milano returned to Columbus for the first time since being traded in 2020 to Anaheim for Devin Shore. Milano has eight goals and 20 points for the Ducks, two points behind his career high of 22 (2017-18).
Columbus recalled Emil Bemstrom from its Cleveland AHL affiliate and assigned Scott Harrington to take his spot. Bemstrom played three games with Cleveland and went 1-0-1.
“These guys, are NHL players. I think they understand the rule. They just have to apply it,” Larsen said of Columbus’ off-sides woes.
Anaheim at Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Columbus at Seattle on Saturday.
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