The Anaheim Ducks will look to end a four-game slide when they visit Detroit on Sunday afternoon.
They are wrapping up a five-game road trip, which also included stops in New York, New Jersey and Boston. Their losses to the Islanders, Rangers and Devils came in regulation. The Ducks then dropped a shootout against the Bruins, 2-1, on Thursday.
“We’re obviously playing better,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “Would have liked to have both points (on Thursday), but a small step in the right direction. “I thought our (penalty) killers did a great job. Our D was solid. It’s been a sore point early, but a much better effort and much better detail.”
Anaheim’s penalty killing has also improved, as it hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in each of the last two games.
“We battled,” Ducks center Derek Grant said. “Our structure was a lot better. Our D zone was a lot better. We didn’t spend a lot of time there. … We did a good job staying inside and clearing out second and third chances, transitioning the puck well up the ice. It’s an important thing for this group to keep focused on that and the offense will come.”
Following a 5-4 overtime victory over Seattle in the season opener, Anaheim has scored eight goals combined during the losing streak. Wing Troy Terry leads the club with six points (three goals, three assists).
The Red Wings haven’t lost in regulation this season but they have suffered overtime defeats in the last two outings. They squandered a two-goal, third-period lead at Chicago on Friday night. Max Domi scored for the Blackhawks in overtime.
“We got exactly what we deserved in the third (period),” coach Derek Lalonde said. “The inability to extend our lead and get that fourth goal, and we had a ton of chances, but it’s more about keeping our lead. I told the guys after (that) the will is there and the want is there. It’s just executing and managing your game. We didn’t do that in the third period.”
Chicago scored the tying goal midway through the third period on a Wings power play.
“We did a pretty good job (for) half of the game, then we stopped doing what we are supposed to do,” forward Dominik Kubalik said. “They got energy from (scoring) that goal on our power play. It happens, but you don’t really want to get them going if you’re on the power play. It’s a big lesson and we have to learn from it.”
Kubalik, Olli Maatta and Dylan Larkin are tied for the team lead with five points apiece. Kubalik and Maatta were signed as free agents during the summer.
Larkin scored his second goal of the season during the second period.
“We have to learn from this,” Larkin said. “We can’t sit back, no matter what the score is. Teams and players are too good. We did it well against Montreal (opening night), we’ve played with leads so far, but we have to capitalize on our chances and most certainly, can’t give up three straight goals.”
The Ducks and Red Wings split last season’s two-game series.
–Field Level Media