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Focused on Improvement

Wednesday, 10.26.2011 / 3:27 PM PT / News
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Focused on Improvement
By Dan Wood
Ducks Radio Analyst


ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Ducks will look to build on Tuesday’s improved performance in Chicago when they try to break a three-game winless skid Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.

While the Ducks are coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center, their play was significantly better than in back-to-back home losses to the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes last weekend.

“I wasn’t impressed with our first period, and then we had a 2-1 lead,” Coach Randy Carlyle said after putting the Ducks through a Wednesday afternoon practice session in Minnesota.

“We weren’t that good (in the first period) because of the amount of turnovers we were committing,” Carlyle said. “We have to cure that ailment earlier in the hockey game. It should be cured in warm-up. We can’t afford to have that loose-type of play.”

Out-shot by Chicago 11-5 but saved by goaltender Jonas Hiller in a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the Ducks twice seized leads, on a power-play goal by Ryan Getzlaf and an even-strength strike from Teemu Selanne. The Blackhawks, despite being out-shot a combined 24-18 in the second and third periods, got even and forced overtime on a Patrick Sharp goal 5:57 into the third.

“Once we got out skills going, our mindset was that we were going to put the puck in and go to work, and we did that,” Carlyle said. “So that was encouraging. It was discouraging that we gave up a one-goal lead, but at least we were competing in the game. We were inside, and we did a lot of good things in the hockey game.”

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the contest for the Ducks was their failure on five other power play opportunities, including three in the third period. After ranking third in the NHL on the power play last season, the Ducks completed play Tuesday 25th in the league at 11.4 percent, with just four conversions in 35 man-advantage situations.

“We looked very, very tired (on the power play),” Carlyle said. “We were sloppy with the puck, and we weren’t crisp. And that is something that we can’t accept.

“It was just lack of execution in a critical point in the game.”

Ironically, the Ducks are much-improved in penalty-killing thus far this season, with 90.6 percent efficiency that ranked sixth in the NHL. Since giving up two power play goals in their 4-1, season-opening loss to the Buffalo Sabres in Helsinki, the Ducks have foiled 28 of the past 29 opposition manpower advantages.

“Our job is to make both (special teams) in the upper echelon, and that’s what we’re going to strive to do,” Carlyle said.

Rookie winger Devante Smith-Pelly, who missed Tuesday’s game because of flu-like symptoms, practiced Wednesday and will be re-evaluated today.

Rugged winger George Parros took a puck to the face early in practice and needed stitches to close the wound, which did not appear serious, according to Carlyle.

The Ducks also assigned winger J.F. Jacques to the Syracuse Crunch of the American League.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 5 35 9 40
C. Perry 53 21 17 -4 38
R. Rakell 50 13 15 -3 28
R. Kesler 53 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 53 6 19 -1 25
C. Stewart 47 8 10 2 18
J. Silfverberg 53 6 12 -2 18
A. Cogliano 53 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 52 6 8 -6 14
C. Fowler 40 3 9 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 8 6 .920 2.30
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13

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