There was a lot for the Ducks to feel good about Sunday night.
Ryan Getzlaf continued to demonstrate elite-player skills. Players were able to score when Getzlaf was off the ice. There was energy and passion.
Then there were the last three minutes that had Ducks players trying to brush aside worries while Coach Randy Carlyle gritted his teeth a little.
A 5-3 victory over Columbus at Honda Center was good. Nearly blowing a 4-1 lead wasn’t.
The Ducks showed how good they can be, getting two goals from Getzlaf and two more from their energy line.
They then gave Carlyle plenty of material for practice, as the Blue Jackets cut the lead to one goal with 45 seconds left.
“It not a concern at all,” Getzlaf said. “We played 55 minutes of strong hockey tonight.”
Said defenseman Scott Niedermayer: “Things happen in bunches. But it wasn’t like they had us hemmed in our own zone. They got a couple chances and scored two goals.”
The opinion from the bench was a little different, heightened by the fresh memory of giving up three goals in the last five minutes of a 4-2 loss to Chicago on Wednesday.
“What we did was we relaxed,” Carlyle said. “We did some things we shouldn’t have done to let them get life.”
Out came the to-do list.
Said Carlyle: “We stopped the forecheck and waited for them to come after us. We had a chance in neutral ice and we turned the puck over. We had one opportunity to freeze the puck. All those things come back to bite you, that’s what it did.”
Then Carlyle reminded everyone, including himself, “But it didn’t cost us a point, that’s the bottom line.”
Getzlaf admitted that “when you have a 4-1 lead, you got to stay focused. We made a few plays that were lackadaisical.” But he added, “We’re going to take our win and go.”
Getzlaf was a chief reason the Ducks had a lead to nearly blow. He had his second multi-goal game of the season, getting both in the second period by going to the net.
His first came on a rebound off his own shot, as he scooped in a shot for a 1-0 lead. His second came as he glided toward the net, where he chipped in a loose puck for a 3-1 lead.
“It was one of those nights where the puck was able to find a way onto my stick in front of the net,” Getzlaf said.
Those nights happen often. The trouble the Ducks have had is getting goals when Getzlaf is a spectator. Of the team’s last 29 goals, 17 have come with Getzlaf on the ice. He has five goals and 14 points in that 11-game span.
The Ducks’ fourth line of Ryan Carter, Bobby Ryan and George Parros took a little pressure off. Carter and Ryan -- demoted to the fourth line from the top line -- each scored goals. Parros, who displayed his most-often-used skills with a clear victory over Jared Boll in a fight, assisted on both goals. It was the first two-assist game of his career.
“People are sometimes surprised when I chip in a point or make a nice play,” Parros said. “Our line is trained not to take risks. That’s fine, that’s our job. But sometimes you feel the energy to make a play. Maybe people are surprised, but I play the same game I always have.”