Ducks-Blackhawks Preview

The Chicago Blackhawks have suffered back-to-back regulation

losses for the first time this season and will next face the only

team they failed to beat during their Stanley Cup-winning

campaign.

The Anaheim Ducks, though, will also be seeking to avoid a third

straight defeat as they visit Chicago on Friday night.

Chicago (20-6-4) has seen its momentum stall since winning the

final six of its seven consecutive road games. The Blackhawks fell

4-3 to Dallas in its return to the United Center on Tuesday then

suffered another 4-3 defeat in Minnesota on Thursday.

Chicago rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a lead over the

Wild with 13:25 remaining but allowed two goals in the final six

minutes, including the tiebreaker with 1:48 to go.

“Like the last game, we thought we had control and let it slip.

It’s frustrating to give up points like we have the last couple

games,” captain Jonathan Toews said. ”It’s pretty simple. We need

to be better.”

Chicago had a season-low 19 shots – four in the final period –

and let Minnesota convert two of its three power-play chances. The

Blackhawks have allowed four goals in their last 10 penalty

kills.

“It’s been probably the sorest issue right now with our team,”

coach Joel Quenneville said.

The Ducks, meanwhile, have boasted one of the league’s most

effective power-play units of late, converting eight of its last 31

opportunities. They scored one of those goals Tuesday against Los

Angeles but suffered a 3-2 shootout defeat.

Corey Perry scored his third goal in as many contests and Ryan

Getzlaf extended his point streak to 11 games, but they were among

the nine Ducks players who failed to solve Martin Jones in the

shootout.

“When you have the opportunity on your stick, whether you

deserve to win the game or not, you’ve got to put it away,” coach

Bruce Boudreau said. “That killer instinct has been eluding us for

a little bit now. We’ve got to find it somewhere.”

Anaheim (18-7-5) will try to avoid its ninth loss in 12 games

and seventh in eight road contests by adding to a four-game win

streak over Chicago. The Ducks earned three of those wins last

season and two at the United Center.

“It won’t be an easy game because we had some success against

them last year,” Boudreau said. “They are Stanley Cup champions and

have the fewest losses in the league (this season).”

The Blackhawks haven’t dropped three straight regular-season

games since Feb. 23-26, 2012, with all of those defeats coming in

regulation, including one to Anaheim to finish off that skid.

That win also started the Ducks’ current streak against Chicago,

but Anaheim has won in a shootout and by one goal in its last two

visits to the United Center. The Ducks needed late third-period

goals to help them prevail in both of those matchups and scored

three times in the final six minutes in a 4-2 victory in Anaheim on

March 20.

Getzlaf has two goals and eight assists in his last eight games

against Chicago. He has eight goals and eight assists during his

streak.

Teemu Selanne has five goals and three assists in his past seven

meetings with the Blackhawks.