Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau expects nothing less than a deep playoff run. That's made it more difficult for him to look past a rough performance as the regular season winds down.
With his team on the brink of clinching a postseason berth, Boudreau canceled a planned day off and put Anaheim to work in preparation for Saturday night's road contest with the Los Angeles Kings.
The Ducks (27-9-5) lead second-place Los Angeles by nine points in the Pacific Division and had an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot Wednesday with a win over last-place Colorado, but a listless performance at home led to a 4-1 defeat.
Boudreau wouldn't let them forget it. Anaheim practiced for 40 minutes Thursday instead of having the day off before getting back at it again Friday.
"You can learn stuff from everything," Boudreau told the team's official website. "I always believed that if you just throw it away and say 'Forget that game,' then it's the easy way out. (The players think), 'All my mistakes are forgiven.' I want them to see their mistakes so we don't make them anymore.
"It's not like getting a mulligan. When they're going good, it's a pat on the back. When they're going bad, it's a kick in the (rear). You have to be accepting of both if you're going to take any accountability on yourself."
The return of captain Ryan Getzlaf, who missed the previous three games with a right leg injury, wasn't enough to spark the Ducks on Wednesday. They're in the midst of their first back-to-back off days since mid-February as the condensed lockout-shortened schedule may be taking its toll.
Boudreau, whose team plays five of its last seven on the road, said fatigue shouldn't be a factor.
"At this time of year, if they're not in tremendous shape already, then I don't know what's going to get them in tremendous shape," Boudreau said.
The Ducks had gone 5-1-1 in their previous seven prior to Wednesday's defeat, including a 4-3 shootout win at home over Los Angeles on Sunday.
The Kings followed that loss with a 5-1 defeat at Dallas on Tuesday, then blew a two-goal lead Thursday before earning a 3-2 shootout win over Colorado.
Los Angeles (23-14-4) is 6-2-2 over its last 10, but forward Jeff Carter said the team will need to pick up its play as the playoffs approach. It's in fourth place, one point ahead of San Jose, in the tight Western Conference race.
"We got pucks deep and used their 'D,' and when we're doing that, we roll pretty good," said Carter, who scored for the fourth time in five games and is among the league leaders with 24 goals. "Good or bad, it's a big two points for us.''
Fasth stopped all 12 shots he faced in the third period Wednesday in relief of Hiller, who allowed four goals on 16 shots through 40 minutes. Fasth, though, is just 1-1-0 with a 3.40 GAA versus the Kings.
It's uncertain if Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler will be able to play after leaving Wednesday's game with an upper-body injury.