So far not so good on this eight game road trip. Two games down, two losses in a row. First a 4-2 loss to Toronto and then a 4-1 loss to Montreal.
This was a team who put together seven wins in a row to tie a franchise record and now they cannot find the net. Having the power play elude them is not helping either.
"We didn’t play fast, and we didn’t play our game," said Patrick Maroon, who was the lone scorer for Anaheim, thus spoiling Carey Price's hopes for a shutout. "We turned a lot of pucks over tonight, which created their offense. We took a lot of penalties and shot ourselves in the foot at the beginning of the game. You’re not going to get any momentum out of that. That’s one area we need to clean up. We’ve got a game tomorrow to fix that. We need to play hard tomorrow."
Right now the Ducks have more turnovers than a bakery and to paraphrase TV color analyst Brian Hayward, they still haven't gotten the urge to turn over the puck out of their system. They need to puke that up now or else the remainder of this road trip is going to look mighty ugly.
Learning how to kill penalties will also help the Ducks cause.
Michael Bournival got the scoring started for Montreal at 11:39 of the first period. Although technically an even strength goal, Bournival scored just as a penalty to the Ducks had expired. Tomas Plekanec scored at 16:39, giving Montreal a two goal lead going into the first intermission.
Brian Gionta's power play goal at 11:49 of the middle period made a tough ditch for the Ducks to climb out of.
Maroon's goal at 8:58 of the third period gave the Ducks a little life, and Canadiens fans who were hoping for a shutout were rudely disappointed. With a little more than 11 minutes to go, there would have been plenty of time to catch up.
Instead, Nick Bonino's holding penalty, the sixth infraction against Anaheim in the game, resulted in the Canadiens restoring their three goal lead with a power play goal from Rene Bourque at 12:39. That's all folks!
So much for Saku Koivu's return to Montreal, where he played for his first 13 NHL seasons (and was captain for 10 of those.) In a classy move, Koivu was given the third star of the game and he was warmly cheered. It was not unlike Winnipeg giving the first star of the game to Teemu Selanne when he re-visited there earlier in the month.
The Ducks have no time to fix what ails them, as they play in Ottawa on Friday evening, the second of back to back games. Time to right the ship and get back on course.