More offense is the goal as Ducks battle Red Wings
DUCKS (5-5-3) at RED WINGS (5-5-1)
TV: FS-West (HD), FS-Detroit (HD)
Anaheim 3-4-3; Detroit 4-5-1
This is the first meeting of the season. Anaheim went 1-3-0 against the Red Wings last season, with its win coming in the last contest on March 2 at Honda Center. Bobby Ryan
scored the game-winner on a penalty shot in overtime in that one.
The Ducks have lost four straight and were in 11th place in the Western Conference after Thursday night -- and yet they’re in a better spot than the free-falling Red Wings, who have dropped six in a row and are two positions behind Anaheim.
Anaheim needs to find some offense, and just about everyone save for Teemu Selanne
can be expected to produce more right now. The Ducks have scored 26 goals in 13 games, and 19 of them have come from the top line (Corey Perry
, Ryan Getzlaf
and Bobby Ryan
) and Selanne. The bottom two lines have contributed only 2 goals -- and none in the past 10 games.
"You can't just depend on three guys to score all your goals," Andrew Cogliano
said. "I think the onus is on guys like myself, guys on the third and fourth lines to chip in and create offense. We did that early in the season, in the first couple of games we won when the top three guys weren't scoring."
The Ducks aren't getting enough offense from the blue line, either. The defense corps has only four goals, including one by Lubomir Visnovsky
and none from Cam Fowler
. Those two combined for 28 goals in 2010-11.
Detroit hasn't been a lot better at scoring goals this season, as the Red Wings only have 28 -- albeit in two fewer games. The Red Wings need more from their top players -- Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have combined for only 4 goals and 8 assists. They also only have two players with more than 2 goals (Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom).
"You win by focusing on the process," coach Mike Babcock said. "If you're a scorer and you're not scoring and you focus on scoring, you ain't going to score. Focus on getting in the right spot. Focus on taking the body. Focus on getting to the net. Focus on shooting the puck. You do the little things right and everything looks after itself."
Selanne has 10 points in his past six games and might be the only skater on the team currently meeting preseason production expectations -- and the 41-year-old might be exceeding them. … It would be hard to pin Detroit’s problems on goaltender Jimmy Howard. He currently boasts a 1.99 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.
Injury Report: Jason Blake
is out until January because of a severed tendon in his forearm. Nick Bonino
was called up to help the offense, but he missed the game in New York on Thursday and is questionable against the Red Wings because of a hyperextended knee. … Patrick Eaves is questionable for Detroit with a sore back.
The Ducks are 29th in the NHL in goals scored at 2.0 per game, but they are also second-to-last in faceoffs at 46.2 percent. Anaheim has actually been successful in the circle on the power play (54.4 percent) but the Ducks are getting beaten badly when shorthanded (42.3) and at even strength (45.4). … The Red Wings are struggling to score goals, but it is not for a lack of opportunities. Detroit is second in the league in shots per game (35.2), but also last in shooting percentage at 6.2 percent.