This is one the Ducks should have had. The 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils just doesn't feel good.
"It's not losing games that bugs you so much," said Ryan Getzlaf. "It's the way you lose them. We played a pretty solid game, but we've got to be able to be a great team to close those games out."
The Ducks lost in a painful way.
Ben Lovejoy was trying clear a puck from the crease in the overtime period and ended up banking it off of Corey Perry's foot into the net behind Jonas Hiller at 1:58.
"I don’t even call it a mistake," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "It was an accident. The way it was going, we missed two total open nets, and a minute before, [Mathieu] Perreault missed the net. You knew something negative was going to happen."
The ironic thing is that the Ducks should never have been in overtime to start with. They had a 3-2 lead with just over a minute left. The Devils pulled Martin Brodeur for the extra attacker and Jaromir Jagr tied up the game at 18:59.
"It's even tougher to swallow that we're on a losing streak," said Lovejoy. "Up 3-2 with very little time left. Incredibly unfortunate ending. That's a game we need. We are a desperate team right now and that's an unacceptable way to lose."
The Ducks started off well and Matt Beleskey, who was flying all night, got them on the board at 8:29 of the first period.
What happened next also qualified for strange and unusual.
Teemu Selanne was called for high sticking on Adam Greene. The problem?
Greene was not hit by Selanne's stick. His stick was on the ice. Greene was hit by his teammate, Marek Zidlicky's blade. Nonetheless, a double minor was assessed and the Devils capitalized with two power play goals. One from Zidlicky at 15:44 and the other from Eric Gelinas at 17:10.
In the second period, the refs seemed to be a little kinder to the Ducks, perhaps a bit of a make up situation for the first period error. The Ducks got even with a 5 on 3 advantage with a goal from Nick Bonino at 2:28.
Getzlaf added a second power play goal at 15:40 to give the Ducks the lead, with Perry providing the perfect screen to Brodeur, then quickly moved out of the way of the oncoming puck.
Unfortunately, the Ducks took the foot off the gas in the third period.
"The trend in the third period is quite simple to decipher by me," said Boudreau. "Every game, it gets bigger, because now you’re sitting there going ‘I certainly don’t want to be the one that makes the mistake to lose.’ Nobody wants to be the guy that makes the mistake in the third period. So, we’re playing too cautiously. You’ve got to keep going after them."
The Ducks will now try to right the ship and exact a little revenge on Tampa Bay, who beat them 5-1last Thursday. Perhaps the honoring of Hall of Famer, Scott Niedermayer, will help give them the boost they need to turn this thing around.
In other notes: Francois Beauchemin left the game in the second period with an upper body injury. He is listed as day to day.