COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Blue Jackets are slowly starting to realize they might win more games playing a combative, in-your-face style.
They hope the realization hasn't come too late.
Rick Nash, rookie Ryan Johansen and Fedor Tyutin scored in a 3-1 victory over the Ducks on Sunday for Columbus' second win of the season.
Columbus (2-9-1) was aggressive against Anaheim's stars, which led to four fights. The effort resembled its first win, Tuesday against Detroit, which was also at home.
"When we play with a little bit of any edge, when we play like we're (angry), when we play in the hard areas and go there first … that's usually when better things happen for us," coach Scott Arniel said.
Nash, the captain, said the Blue Jackets have to come up with an identity, "and I don't think our identity is a skilled team that's going to win with finesse and talent."
The Blue Jackets' start is the worst in franchise history, and the team has the league's fifth-highest payroll, according to the salary-tracking website capgeek.com.
The win came on the day the Columbus Dispatch reported that team president Mike Priest had contacted Ken Hitchcock about returning as coach and former Flames general manager and current TV analyst Craig Button had been contacted about taking on the same job with Columbus.
Arniel and-or GM Scott Howson could be replaced by today, the newspaper said.
Hitchcock was fired as Columbus' coach in February 2010 after 31/2 seasons and what remains the team's only playoff appearance. He is still on the payroll, earning $1.3 million this season. He denied being contacted, as did Button.
Button was the Stars' player personnel director and Hitchcock the coach when Dallas won the Stanley Cup in 1999.
Two weeks ago, Priest gave Howson and Arniel a vote of confidence, saying they shouldn't be judged until the Blue Jackets, then dealing with injuries and a suspension to key defenseman James Wisniewski, had those players back. Wisniewski now has four points in four games. He had two assists Sunday.
game highlights: The host Senators extended their winning streak to six with a 3-2 win over the Maple Leafs. They had lost five of their first six. … Ryan Smyth had two goals as the host Oilers won their fifth in a row, 4-2 over the Blues.
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First Period—1, Columbus, Nash 4 (Wisniewski, Umberger), 2:23 (pp). 2, Anaheim, Ryan 4 (Selanne, Lydman), 8:24. Penalties—Selanne, Ana (high-sticking), 1:36; Koivu, Ana (boarding), 1:36; Brookbank, Ana, major (fighting), 12:38; Dorsett, Clm, major (fighting), 12:38; Cogliano, Ana, major (fighting), 17:01; K.Russell, Clm, major (fighting), 17:01; Getzlaf, Ana, major (fighting), 17:45; Bass, Clm, major (fighting), 17:45; Selanne, Ana (high-sticking), 17:49.
Second Period—3, Columbus, Johansen 2 (Vermette, Calvert), 1:57. 4, Columbus, Tyutin 2 (Wisniewski, Pahlsson), 12:52. Penalties—Clitsome, Clm (tripping), 3:56; Wisniewski, Clm (cross-checking), 5:57; Perry, Ana (roughing), 14:24; Tyutin, Clm (roughing), 14:24; Brookbank, Ana, major (fighting), 18:17; Dorsett, Clm, major (fighting), 18:17.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Pahlsson, Clm (hooking), 11:32. Shots on Goal—Anaheim 3-11-6—20. Columbus 10-7-4—21. Power-play opportunities—Anaheim 0 of 3; Columbus 1 of 3. Goalies—Anaheim, Ellis 1-1-0 (21 shots-18 saves). Columbus, Mason 2-8-1 (20-19).
First Period—1, Edmonton, Horcoff 2 (Nugent-Hopkins, Potter), 5:38 (pp). Penalties—D'Agostini, StL (slashing), 5:14; Jones, Edm (interference), 6:50; Polak, StL (holding), 9:41; Nugent-Hopkins, Edm (high-sticking), 10:43; Oshie, StL (boarding), 15:04.
Second Period—2, St. Louis, Backes 3 (Sobotka, Polak), 3:58. 3, Edmonton, Smyth 4 (Plante, Jones), 7:31. 4, Edmonton, Eberle 3 (Hall, Nugent-Hopkins), 13:16. 5, Edmonton, Smyth 5 (Gilbert, Petry), 17:15 (pp). Penalties—Backes, StL (boarding), 16:18.
Third Period—6, St. Louis, Stewart 3 (Pietrangelo), 3:17 (pp). Penalties—Belanger, Edm (boarding), 1:56. Shots on Goal—St. Louis 8-8-14—30. Edmonton 5-16-9—30. Power-play opportunities—St. Louis 1 of 3; Edmonton 2 of 4. Goalies—St. Louis, Halak 1-5-0 (30 shots-26 saves). Edmonton, Khabibulin 5-0-2 (30-28).
First Period—1, Toronto, MacArthur 3 (Grabovski, Kulemin), 11:20 (pp). 2, Ottawa, Greening 4 (Rundblad, Kuba), 16:16 (pp). Penalties—Greening, Ott (illegal check to head minor), 3:08; Karlsson, Ott (slashing), 9:51; Gunnarsson, Tor (cross-checking), 14:20.
Second Period—3, Ottawa, Neil 3 (Karlsson, Gonchar), 7:59 (pp). Penalties—Connolly, Tor (hooking), 4:33; Kulemin, Tor (interference), 6:56; Connolly, Tor (roughing), 12:29; Spezza, Ott (tripping), 16:37; Karlsson, Ott (tripping), 19:42.
Third Period—4, Ottawa, Daugavins 1 (Smith), 7:08. 5, Toronto, MacArthur 4 (Grabovski, Kulemin), 9:07. Penalties—Daugavins, Ott (hooking), 11:59; Gonchar, Ott (tripping), 19:55. Shots on Goal—Toronto 9-7-9—25. Ottawa 13-12-5—30. Power-play opportunities—Toronto 1 of 6; Ottawa 2 of 4. Goalies—Toronto, Gustavsson 3-3-0 (30 shots-27 saves). Ottawa, Lehner 1-0-0 (25-23).
First Period—1, Colorado, Kobasew 2 (Landeskog, Quincey), 6:55 (sh). 2, LA, Parse 2 (Stoll), 7:22 (pp). Penalties—Parse, LA (tripping), :36; Penner, LA (interference), 3:18; Hejda, Col (hooking), 6:11.
Second Period—3, Colorado, Hejduk 4 (D.Jones, Quincey), 9:04 (pp). 4, LA, Kopitar 6 (Brown, Doughty), 18:44 (pp). Penalties—Parse, LA (interference), 8:07; O'Brien, Col (slashing), 16:59; Hejda, Col (holding), 17:35.
Third Period—5, Colorado, Duchene 2 (D.Jones), 1:52. Penalties—Brown, LA (tripping), 16:19; Winnik, Col (tripping), 19:14. Shots on Goal—LA 11-15-6—32. Colorado 5-4-7—16. Power-play opportunities—LA 2 of 4; Colorado 1 of 4. Goalies—LA, Quick 6-1-2 (16 shots-13 saves). Colorado, Varlamov 5-3-0 (32-30).