Ducks' latest shot at breaking skid will be in Minny
The Anaheim Ducks are still searching for a way out of their month-long losing streak. They'll get their next chance Thursday night in St. Paul against the Minnesota Wild.
Anaheim has lost a franchise-record 12 in a row, getting outscored 21-2 after the second period in those games. The Ducks haven't won since Dec. 17 at the Pittsburgh Penguins -- exactly one month ago Thursday.
And they received more bad news on Wednesday.
Jakob Silfverberg, who has a team-leading 12 goals, departed in the first period of a 3-1 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night with a lower-body injury. He didn't practice Wednesday and is considered day-to-day.
Veteran forward Ryan Kesler joined Silfverberg in the locker room the following period with his own lower-body injury. Kesler was returned to Anaheim on Wednesday for further evaluation.
To prepare for the veterans' absences, the Ducks recalled rookie forwards Max Jones and Troy Terry from the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League. Terry came into Wednesday tied for 11th in the AHL with 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists). Jones has also played 32 games with the Gulls and has produced 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists).
The Ducks (19-19-9, 47 points) have been shut out twice during the losing streak, but have also held a lead in eight games, three times by multiple goals.
Anaheim led 1-0 to start the third period in Detroit on Tuesday, but then surrendered three consecutive goals.
"It just feels like we're holding our sticks a little too hard," Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm told reporters after the loss in Detroit. "When you come to the third period, when the other team is on us, we kind of fall together. ... In this league, you have to be on your toes the whole time. You have to go after teams because every team has good scorers. If you play in your zone a lot, they're going to score at some point."
Nonetheless, the Ducks are still just two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference. One of the teams holding that spot? The Wild.
Minnesota (23-20-3, 49 points) rebounded from back-to-back losses to the Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers, two of the bottom teams in the Eastern Conference, with a 3-2 shootout victory against the visiting Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
Minnesota forward Jason Zucker told reporters after the win against that the Wild must take advantage of their home ice, where they're 12-8-3 this season.
"We want to make sure that we're a good team, especially in this building, and lately we haven't done that," Zucker said. "We want to make sure that anytime we come out here, whether it's back-to-back or off of rest, we want to make sure we are playing well here."
Minnesota beat the Ducks 5-1 on Nov. 9. Zucker and Mikael Granlund each scored three points in the win. Zucker has six goals and six assists in 15 career games against Anaheim.
The Ducks traded veteran forward Andrew Cogliano to the Dallas Stars on Monday in exchange for forward Devin Shore. Anaheim General Manager Bob Murray said he hoped Shore would provide more creativity to an offense that ranks second-to-last in the NHL in goals per game (2.34).
Cogliano was one of the most well-liked players in Anaheim, but the 31-year-old only had three goals and eight assists in 46 games.
The move didn't pay any dividends against Detroit, however, as the Ducks were held to two goals or fewer for the ninth time during the losing streak.
"It's been some tough games," Lindholm said. "We need to figure out what we can do to get back on the right end."
The Ducks and Wild made a trade on Wednesday with Anaheim shipping forward Pontus Aberg to Minnesota for minor league forward Justin Kloos.
Aberg, 25, appeared in 37 games for Anaheim this season, compiling 11 goals and eight assists with a minus-10 rating. In 105 NHL games overall, he has 16 goals, 21 assists and a minus-3 rating.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 16, 2019