(Photo credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)
The Anaheim Ducks will look to bounce back from their worst defeat of the season when they open a four-game homestand against the Florida Panthers on Friday night.
The Ducks come in off a 8-2 loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in the second game of a back-to-back that began with a3-2 victory at Nashville. Anaheim allowed five goals in the final period against Colorado.
"We just didn't have a good game," Ducks coach Greg Cronin said. "You can pick anything you want to pick to fix something."
Anaheim seemed to wilt in the high altitude of Denver.
"We just played six games in (11) nights, and it's a back-to-back game and there wasn't a lot of legs," Cronin said. "Brain wasn't working. We were consistently bad from start to finish."
"Just wasn't our night," said center Sam Carrick, who scored his fourth goal of the season in the loss. "We know what's made us successful, or not, this season so far. We know what we have to do. It was just not a good effort. We left (goalie Lukas Dostal) out to dry. We can't do that. Have to have a better effort next game."
The loss, just the third in 11 games, snapped a five-game road winning streak for the Ducks.
"We've been playing some good hockey as of late, so we can't dwell on this one too much," Carrick said. "Figure out what went wrong and move on to the next one."
The next one is against a Florida team that will be playing the second half of a back-to-back set. The Panthers saw their five-game winning streak halted with a 2-1 setback to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
The Panthers opened their three-game California road trip with a 5-3 victory at San Jose on Tuesday.
Florida halved a two-goal deficit at 11:45 of the third period on Sam Reinhart's 13th goal of the season, moving him into a tie with Vancouver's Brock Boeser, Winnipeg's Kyle Connor and Toronto's Auston Matthews for the league lead. The Panthers, who were 0-for-5 on the power play, pulled Sergei Bobrovsky for an extra attacker and swarmed the Kings net but couldn't record the equalizer.
"At the end of the day, we go 0-for-5 on the power play and 2:17 with an empty net -- we consider that part of the power play -- so 0-for-6, and they're 1-for-2, and that's the difference in the game," Florida coach Paul Maurice said.
"We had some zone time and we had some opportunities," said Reinhart, who has five goals and eight assists during a six-game point streak.
Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov, who notched an assist on Reinhart's goal, said the slow start came back to haunt his team.
"Against these type of teams it's hard to play from behind, especially a couple goals in the third period," Barkov said. "Wasn't our best effort today but somehow found a way to get close. ... Obviously they're a good team but I don't think our effort was as good as it should have been against that type of team."
Reinhart said he was glad the team has such a quick turnaround before playing the Ducks.
"That's what you want in this league after a loss," Reinhart said. "You want to get back (out there) and get back in the win column. We're excited about the challenge. We'll recover now and get ready for tomorrow."
--Field Level Media