NHL: Ducks escape three-goal hole, topple Blue Jackets


John Gibson stopped all 18 shots he faced after entering in relief and the visiting Anaheim Ducks erased a three-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 Thursday night.

Adam Henrique scored his team-leading 16th goal for the Ducks, who snapped a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) despite falling into a 3-0 hole in the first period.

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Henrique, Cam Fowler and Trevor Zegras each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, and Simon Benoit and Max Jones also scored. Troy Terry and Isac Lundestrom contributed two assists apiece.

Mathieu Olivier, Jack Roslovic and Nick Blankenburg scored for the Blue Jackets. Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins couldn’t protect the lead, allowing five goals on 33 shots to take the loss.

The Blue Jackets, who dropped their third straight game and fell for the 15th time in 18 games, scored on their first two shots.

Olivier came down the right wing and ripped a shot above Anaheim goalie Anthony Stolarz’s right shoulder at 2:17 of the first period. The shot hit the corner of the crossbar and the left post and caromed down into the goal for his third of the season.

On Columbus’ second shot six minutes into the game, Roslovic extended his point streak to four games with first goal in 18 games.

Blankenburg had an eventful first period. His body check of Lundestrom landed the Ducks forward in the Blue Jackets bench.

Just over 20 seconds later on the same shift, Blankenburg scored his third goal of the season on a snapshot from the top of the left circle. The shot beat Stolarz over his left shoulder and put the Blue Jackets up 3-0 at 17:43.

After stopping just 12 of 15 shots, Stolarz was replaced by John Gibson to begin the second period.

Henrique got Anaheim on the board 22 seconds into the second period after the Blue Jackets failed to get the puck beyond the neutral zone on a clearance attempt.

Fowler settled in front of Merzlikins and took a perfect pass across the goal line from Max Comtois on his left knee. Fowler easily shot the puck into the vacated part of the net to cut the Columbus’ lead to 3-2 at 13:07 of the second.

Less than two minutes later, Benoit ripped a slap shot from the high slot that beat a screened Merzlikins to tie the game 3-3.

Zegras broke the tie with a wrist shot off Merzlikins’ glove five minutes into the third for his 15th of the season. Jones added insurance with 4:29 remaining for the fifth unanswered Anaheim goal.

–Field Level Media

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