COLUMBUS, Ohio - It was all about special teams for Anaheim - killing penalty after penalty, scoring three man-advantage goals and converting a penalty shot for good measure.
Chris Pronger scored a power-play goal with 1:46 left in overtime to give the Ducks a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night. "We battled hard and found a way to win," said Pronger, a 14-year veteran, who earlier added an assist in his 900th career game.
Pronger blasted a point shot that deflected off Columbus defenceman Adam Foote and past a surprised Pascal Leclaire, who finished with 24 saves.
Corey Perry added two power-play goals and Samuel Pahlsson scored on the penalty shot for Anaheim, which has won three of four. Mathieu Schneider and Ryan Getzlaf each had two assists.
Despite talking about playing more disciplined hockey, the Ducks - the league's most penalized team - found themselves in the familiar spot of killing penalties. But they survived.
The Blue Jackets finished 2-for-9 on the power play, including a 56-second two-man advantage early in the third period, which led to Nikolai Zherdev's 12th goal to tie the game at 3.
Just after the first penalty expired, Michael Peca poked Rostislav Klesla's rebound to Zherdev for a quick shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere - who had 32 stops - at 3:07. Zherdev has a career-best five-game goal streak.
"Did we make a better effort to be disciplined?" Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "I would say their mindset seemed to be, but we didn't get the necessary results as far as not taking so many penalties."
Pronger had a slightly different, more reserved take.
"It may look like we're running around a little bit or like we don't know what we're doing, but there's a method to the madness," he said.
Klesla and Zherdev each had a power-play goal and an assist for Columbus, losers of three of four. Kris Beech also scored and Peca added two assists.
Peca had the best chance late in regulation, firing an open shot from the slot over the net with just more than a minute left.
"Tonight we had a lot of good performances, we did a lot of really good stuff," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We made some mistakes, but we had guys compete at a really high level."
The Ducks had taken a 3-2 lead at 18:44 of the second period when Pahlsson beat Leclaire stick side for his third goal of the season. Pahlsson was hauled down by Zherdev on a shorthanded breakaway.
"That's a save I wish I make," Leclaire said. "I didn't do it today but we came back and got a point."
Klesla opened the scoring at 13:36 of the first period with a hard drive from the point on the power play. It was his third goal.
Columbus' early physical play and forecheck, which included Jan Hejda sending Perry into the Blue Jackets' bench and Jared Boll levelling Geoff Platt into the boards, didn't sit well with Anaheim, resulting in several tussles.
"They get in your face, they play physical," Pronger said. "We needed to answer that and we did."
In the second period and with Columbus taking its turn in the penalty box, Getzlaf circled off the boards, stepped around Peca and fed Perry at the doorstep for an easy score at 6:49 to make it 1-1. Getzlaf has a five-game points streak.
"Two guys went to him and I just slid out to the side," Perry said.
Beech responded for Columbus with his second of the season just 45 seconds later, jamming home Zherdev's rebound through traffic in the crease and off the skate of Anaheim defenceman Francois Beauchemin.
The teams continued to trade penalties before Perry netted his second of the game and team leading 17th at 13:40 on the power play to tie it.
With Peca stickless and Columbus out of position, Pronger threaded a pass to an open Perry, who beat Leclaire high with a snap shot from the slot.