Ducks Continue Homestand Against Blue Jackets At Honda Center

(Sports Network) - A trip to Anaheim could be exactly what Columbus needs to get its road game on track. The Blue Jackets aim for a fifth straight victory at the Honda Center tonight when they battle the Ducks. The Blue Jackets have lost the first two contests of a four-game swing, with the back-to-back setbacks coming on the heels of a three-game overall winning streak. Columbus has now lost nine of its last 10 on the road, falling to 9-8-2 as the visiting club this season.

Making a stop in Phoenix on Tuesday, the Blue Jackets were dealt a 4-2 setback by the Coyotes. R.J. Umberger and Jakub Voracek had the goals for Columbus and Mathieu Garon made 29 saves. Umberger has now scored in four straight games and has six goals over his last seven outings, but has managed just one tally and five assists in 12 career games versus the Ducks.

Rick Nash, meanwhile, has scored just once in his last 11 games, but has seven goals and four assists on a seven-game point streak versus the Ducks and 14 goals and 28 points in 28 games against them lifetime. Columbus placed forward Ethan Moreau on injured reserve on Thursday and replaced him in the lineup with Matt Calvert, who had 13 goals and 11 assists in 35 games with Springfield of the American Hockey League. Moreau is out with a rib injury suffered versus the Coyotes.

Steve Mason could get the start tonight over Garon and he made a career high- tying 47 saves the last time he faced the Ducks, a 4-3 victory in Anaheim on Nov. 19. That win was Columbus' second in as many games versus Anaheim this season and fifth in the last six meetings overall. Mason is 4-2-0 with a 2.68 goals-against average when facing the Ducks, while Garon is 8-6-3 with a 2.90 GAA versus them.

The Ducks will try to get back on track tonight after having a three-game overall win streak halted with Wednesday's 4-1 setback to Nashville. Anaheim also lost for the first time in its last six home games. Saku Koivu scored in the third period for the Ducks and Jonas Hiller made 20 saves in defeat as Anaheim fell to 2-1 on a six-game homestand.

"We fired a lot of blanks. It just seemed like the puck was doing funny things for us," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. Maxim Lapierre, acquired last week from Montreal in a trade, made his Anaheim debut and replaced Ryan Getzlaf on the club's top line with Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry. Getzlaf, the Ducks' captain, is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with multiple nasal sinus fractures on Dec. 28 versus Phoenix.

Getzlaf has 13 goals and 24 assists in 40 games this year. Jason Blake is also questionable for tonight with a strained shoulder. Hiller is 1-3-0 with a 2.82 GAA in his career versus Columbus.

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