Ducks going for 5th straight , Blackhawks hope top avoid 5th straight loss
Anaheim will try to win its fifth straight game when it hosts Chicago on Wednesday night at Honda Center. The Blackhawks will be trying to avoid losing five in a row.
The Ducks (14-10-5) lost seven straight from Oct. 20 to Nov. 1, including a 3-1 defeat in Chicago on Oct. 23.
They began to gather themselves during a 2-1 overtime loss to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 16, going 6-1-2 since.
Anaheim enters Wednesday in second place in the Pacific Division after twice leapfrogging the Calgary Flames into first in the past week. The Flames moved back into first with a 3-2 win in Chicago on Sunday.
The Blackhawks (9-14-5) were 6-2-2 when they slipped into an eight-game losing streak from Oct. 27 to Nov. 12. Chicago fired longtime coach Joel Quenneville on Nov. 6, but have gone just 3-8-2 under Jeremy Colliton.
“It’s not for lack of effort,” Chicago captain Jonathan Toews told the Chicago Tribune after the latest loss. “It’s one of those things we’re stuck in right now, snowballing in the wrong direction. It’s tough. We have to keep working. There’s nothing else we can do.”
The Ducks continue to build roster depth as they string together points.
They traded rookie defenseman Marcus Pettersson to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday in exchange for forward Daniel Sprong, who’s expected to make his team debut against the Blackhawks.
Pettersson became expendable with the addition of Jake Dotchin, who made his team debut on Nov. 23 after he was signed by the Ducks on Oct. 18. Dotchin was released by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sept. 15, reportedly because they were unhappy with his conditioning.
Anaheim hasn’t played at home since a 2-1 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 23. Ducks forward Rickard Rakell scored with 17 seconds left in regulation to tie the score, and then scored 14 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 victory.
After losing the opener a five-game road trip to the Nashville Predators, the Ducks defeated the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1, and the following night knocked off the Florida Panthers 3-2.
After scoring another late goal to tie the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, the Ducks won 2-1 in overtime.
Those heroics paled in comparison to their latest victory.
The Ducks trailed the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 5-1 late in the second period on Sunday afternoon before rallying for a 6-5 win. Anaheim became the first road team to come back from a four-goal deficit and win in nearly 20 years.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle isn’t ready to believe his team is out of the woods.
“We’ve tried to remain steadfast in that we’re going to need to be more competitive,” he said. “We’re going to have to execute to a higher level and we’re going to have to be able to do that in parts of games.”