COLUMBUS — The Anaheim Ducks won for the fourth time in five games to start the season, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Nationwide Arena on Friday.
Ryan Miller made 26 saves in his season debut, and Jakob Silfverberg and Cam Fowler scored in the second period for the Ducks (4-1-0), who played their third road game in four days.
“Win it any way you can,” Miller said. “We’re still getting comfortable in certain positions with some young guys, guys are slotting into different spots, rotating almost. There’s going to be flow eventually.”
Pierre-Luc Dubois scored, and Joonas Korpisalo made 21 saves for the Blue Jackets (1-3-0).
“We had opportunities to score and we didn’t,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “I don’t think we were sharp in a lot of our plays. We were sloppy in our execution. We were slow tonight.”
Miller preserved the lead with a save on Seth Jones with Columbus shorthanded at 8:55 of the third period. Nick Foligno led the rush and passed in front to Jones before the defenseman tried to put a backhand past Miller, who poke-checked the puck.
“There’s not many situations that you can throw at him that he hasn’t been through,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said of the Miller, who is in his 17th NHL season. “He’s calm back there. He’s almost like a second coach back there sometimes.”
Jones hit the post with 5:19 left in the third off a face-off win. It was the second time Miller got help. A shot from the right face-off circle by Oliver Bjorkstrand during a Columbus power play went off the crossbar at 28 seconds of the second period.
Silfverberg scored shorthanded at 12:59 of the second for a 1-0 lead during a Blue Jackets power play. Rakell’s shot from the left side on a 2-on-1 was saved by Korpisalo, but Silfverberg scored on the rebound.
Fowler made it 2-0 at 14:56, scoring inside the far post after a drop pass in the right face-off circle from Ondrej Kase.
“I just think the tale of the game is really that we got impatient there for three or four minutes and that’s what cost us two goals,” said Foligno, the Blue Jackets captain. “After a tough bounce on the power play, you can’t lose yourself in the next few minutes and we did, and they get that next one.
“Now you’re playing from behind by two. We got the really nice goal by [Dubois] to kind get us back in the game, but we just couldn’t get the bounce to go our way. That should be a lesson to us.”
Dubois made it 2-1 with 3:44 left in the second when his shot from a sharp angle on left side bounced off Miller’s right shoulder and into the net.
The Ducks have given up one goal in four of their five games and have the best goals-against average in the NHL (1.20). They lost 2-1 at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday with John Gibson in goal.
“He played great, kept us in the hockey game,” Fowler said of Miller. “That’s what you expect out of a guy like him who’s been around a long time. He prepares himself, works hard, does the little extra things in practice to make sure he’s prepared for the game, and I was happy to see his hard work pay off.”
They said it
“We always talk about how important two points will be at the end of March, the beginning of April, it’s the same thing. Two points now is two points. It’s obviously huge.” — Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg
“In the first period, we were a little slow trying to get the puck up the ice. The latter half of the second and the third period, we were very quick. Being down a goal, you’re throwing everything at them.” — Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones
Need to know
Captain Ryan Getzlaf played his 989th game for Anaheim, passing former linemate Corey Perry, now of the Dallas Stars, for the most in its history. … The Ducks matched the best start in their history. They had been 4-1-0 three times, most recently in 2014-15, when they started 7-1-0. …. Anaheim is 15-for-16 on the penalty kill this season. Columbus was 0-for-3 on the power play. … Ducks defenseman Brendan Guhle (lower body) did not play and was replaced by Korbinian Holzer. … Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Friday. Columbus recalled forward Markus Hannikainen from Cleveland of the American Hockey League, but he did not play.
Ducks: At the Boston Bruins on Monday (1 p.m. ET; SN, NESN, PRIME, NHL.TV)
Blue Jackets: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-O, NHL.TV)