Ducks Look to Bounce Back in Home Opener

They try to put a 4-1 loss on opening night behind them as they focus on the Coyotes on Sunday evening

Friday, 10.10.2008 / 4:39 PM PT / Features
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Ducks Look to Bounce Back in Home Opener
By Matt Vevoda
AnaheimDucks.com


"Discipline is a huge factor for us," Selanne said. "That’s one area where we have to take more time. I think last night we were just undisciplined, but we’re going to fix it.””
For as much success as the Ducks have had in the last half of a decade, the team has had its share of struggles in season openers.

Last night’s 4-1 loss at San Jose was the third time in the last five seasons the Ducks have begun a year with that specific result (also suffering 4-1 losses on the road to start 2007-08 and 2003-04). Last year the Ducks had to play a second game in London and then three in Detroit, Columbus and Pittsburgh before opening at home. The good news for the 2008-09 Ducks is they get a chance to quickly turn things around with five straight games in Southern California (four in Anaheim, one in Los Angeles) beginning with Sunday’s home opener against Phoenix.

“It will be nice to play in front of our home fans and get back to our rink,” Chris Kunitz said. “We have to get our game going, turn the corner, and start playing a little better.”

Chief among the Ducks’ concerns in their return from the Silicon Valley was their inability to stay out of the penalty box yet again. The NHL’s most penalized team the last two seasons, the Ducks went to the bin seven times against the Sharks, five alone in a game-changing second period.

“I would love to have five PPs in a row in the second period,” Teemu Selanne said. “You know you’d have a good chance to win the game. Discipline is a huge factor for us.  That’s one area where we have to take more time.”

During practice at Anaheim ICE on Friday, Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle told his team to turn its attention away from the striped skaters on the ice.

“Our focus cannot go to the officials in those situations,” Carlyle said. “We were responsible for our actions. We played very well under our capabilities and lacked the passion that is necessary to have success.”

There were a few positives amid the teal haze in San Jose. Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s 37 saves single-handedly kept the game from getting out of hand. But Giguere, like his coach,
was critical of the team's discipline.
“It will be nice to play in front of our home fans and get back to our rink,” said Chris Kunitz (right, with Brendan Morrison). “We have to get our game going, turn the corner, and start playing a little better.”

"We like to play on the edge, and I love that we play that way," Giguere said. "At the same time, we need to keep our mouths shut and stop yapping at the officials. We have to take it upon ourselves to be more disciplined."

Rob Niedermayer’s deflection off a Steve Montador shot in the third period gave the Ducks their first goal of the season and stopped Evgeni Nabokov’s shutout bid.

“We tried to get something going,” Selanne said. “That is always a good sign. This level, especially against good teams like the Sharks, you have to be able to play 60 minutes. I think last night we were just undisciplined, but we’re going to fix it.”

Notes: Ducks defenseman Nathan McIver has been granted a U.S. work visa and will be flying into Orange County tonight. Carlyle said that if everything goes as anticipated, McIver should participate in practice on Saturday to give the team seven available defensemen.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 75 24 44 13 68
C. Perry 63 32 20 15 52
R. Kesler 78 20 27 -2 47
S. Vatanen 63 12 25 6 37
J. Silfverberg 77 12 23 12 35
P. Maroon 69 9 25 -4 34
J. Wisniewski 66 8 26 -14 34
C. Fowler 76 7 27 5 34
H. Lindholm 74 7 26 23 33
M. Beleskey 63 22 10 15 32
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 33 11 5 .914 2.40
J. Gibson 13 7 0 .916 2.58


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