You cannot win them all. But you should at least give every game your best effort. The Ducks failed to give their best effort against the Dallas Stars and it cost them in the 3-1 defeat.
They did not play their best in Colorado, either, but Viktor Fasth was able to shut out the Avalanche and Anaheim was still able to pull off a win. Against Dallas, the second game of a six game road trip, the Ducks dug a hole early and never could get out.
Jonas Hiller got the start in net, despite Fasth's shutout. He did not last beyond the first period. Fasth took over at the start of the second period and later in the game it was reported that Hiller had a "lower body injury." When your goaltender has a lower body injury, you can pretty much interpret that as "strained groin."
"He wasn't feeling very well so we made the change," was coach Bruce Boudreau's explanation.
Hiller played well enough, even though the score was 2-0 after the first period. It was the team in front of him that let him down.
Brad Staubitz took a roughing penalty and Dallas converted quickly. Trevor Daley slipped a puck between Hiller's left arm and body at 8:48 on the power play. Things went from bad to worse from there.
Corey Perry took exception to a spear from Stephane Robidas and Perry decided to take matters into his own hands. You never want your top guy to be fighting, but he did leave Robidas bloodied and looking the worse for wear.
Staubitz, figuring spearing is "ok," exacted some vengeance on Brenden Dillon. Unlike Robidas, Staubitz was called on it and promptly ejected from the game.
Whether or not Boudreau agreed with the call, and he did not, it happened.
So did the five minute power play. Jamie Benn made it 2-0 at 12:59 and were it not for the ref blowing the whistle on a play, it could have been 3-0 as well. A puck rolling over Hiller's shoulder just outside the net also prevented further scoring on the extended man advantage.
At that point, the Ducks were outshot 15-3, but they spent nearly half the period down a man. Not the way to start the game.
"We wanted to get on them early," said Benn. "They're obviously a good team and on a bit of a hot streak, so we wanted to go right after them and not give them any confidence and use our home building as an advantage."
Anaheim looked much better in the second period. and Nick Bonino tapped in Luca Sbisa's shot at 15:23. However, that was all Kari Lehtonen would let in.
In the third period Dallas clamped down hard on the Ducks and only allowed one shot on goal. If you are going to come back in a game, you have to have more than one shot on goal to do it.
When you are down two goals, which the Ducks were after Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 at 12:36, it is downright impossible.
Eriksson's goal was the first that Fasth had allowed in the net in 134 minutes and 40 seconds.
The Ducks get to turn things around quickly, playing against a very tough St. Louis team on Saturday night.
"We've got to be ready right from the start," said Perry. "When we get the lead in the first period, we're a tough team to beat. That's how we have to play."
They have a great opportunity to do just that tonight.
In other notes: Newly acquired defenseman, Ben Lovejoy, made his debut against the Stars. He played 16:20 and had a team high four shots on goal.