The losses keep coming for Anaheim, the latest being a 2-0 shutout by the Chicago Blackhawks who are now just one point away from Anaheim in the overall standings.
Anaheim has now lost three in a row and ended up 1-4-0 on this five game homestand. They have only one more game before the Olympic break, in Nashville on Saturday.
On the plus side, the Ducks put forth a stronger effort against the defending Stanley Cup champions. It was a good first period, but they could not sustain the effort and they ran into another good goaltender in Corey Crawford, who made 29 saves to blank the Ducks.
The other problem was the power play. Not only did the scoring go missing again for the second time in three games, the power play has vanished as well. Get a couple of power play goals would help this team immensely.
"If we capitalize on those (power plays), it's a different game," said Corey Perry.
The Ducks had five power play goals. One of them was a two man advantage. Another was a four minute double minor for high sticking that left Patrick Maroon bloodied on the ice.
What did they yield? Nothing. Zip. Nada.
It did give the Blackhawks more confidence, though, after killing them off.
"The five-on-three set the tone for the whole game," said Crawford. "They try to get in your head. You just laugh at 'em. That was a big game. The win is the most important thing. It is always nice to get a shutout but catching up to them at little bit."
Marian Hossa scored :39 seconds into the second period and goaltender Jonas Hiller kept the Ducks in the game. Perhaps a bit more pressure to make saves, especially in light of the absence of scoring, but Hiller stood strong and did his job, making 23 saves. His job is to stop them, not score them.
"You’re going to go through highs and lows scoring goals," said Perry. "Right now we’re in a rough patch. We’ve scored one or two goals in the last three games. Especially at home, it doesn’t win hockey games. We had a good effort tonight, but the bounces just didn’t go our way."
By the time Jonathan Toews made it 2-0 at 17:29 of the third period, you knew the game was over.
"It was no moral victory, but we did have a much better effort," said defenseman Ben Lovejoy. "We ran into a good team with a good goaltender, but we’re out here to win games. I think everybody in the room feels like that was better, but we want to win."
Next chance is Nashville and you don't want to head into the Olympic break on a four game losing streak. Hopefully Anaheim can continue the efforts they made against Chicago and carry that over on Saturday evening. And hopefully the Nashville starting goalie will be having an off night, so something can get in the net. Hopefully.