Blackhawks try to snap seven-game slide vs. Ducks (Feb 14, 2018)
Chicago (24-25-8) has been outscored 29-12 during its skid, which has included six losses in regulation and one loss in overtime. The Blackhawks have fallen 12 points out of the second wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 25 games left.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews knows the situation is bleak for him and his teammates.
"There's no words left," Toews said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's about what you go out there and do."
Anaheim (27-20-11) is in better position in the standings but wants to avoid a mini-slump from turning into a major downturn. The Ducks are winless in their last two games and have posted a meager 2-5-2 record in their past nine contests.
Each of Anaheim's last two losses have come by one goal. On Tuesday, they fell short 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings.
"We weren't sharp with the puck and we needed to go upstairs more," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told the team's official website. "We put pucks into his feet. The puck was bouncing away from us. You can't play that way. Two turnovers in the game gave them goals. Those are very easily correctable."
Whether the Blackhawks' mistakes can be corrected remain to be seen.
"We can't string 60 minutes together," Tommy Wingels said to the Sun-Times. "We have tidbits here and there where we're hard, we're aggressive, we're physical, we win battles -- then it lets up, and the other team gets back in the game. Certainly frustrating. It's frustrating for us, it's frustrating for you guys following it, and it's frustrating for everyone watching."
A lengthy injury to top goaltender Corey Crawford has not helped the Blackhawks' cause. Backup netminders Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass have split time in Crawford's place, but the team placed Glass on waivers Wednesday afternoon.
Forsberg is 5-10-3 with a 3.05 goals-against average and .907 save percentage this season. He never has faced the Ducks.
Jean-Francois Berube could return from Rockford of the AHL to fill Glass' spot on the Blackhawks' roster. Berube has logged only 44 minutes, 14 seconds this season with the Blackhawks, stopping 12 of 14 shots.
Anaheim will counter with John Gibson or Ryan Miller in net. Gibson is 19-15-6 with a 2.58 GAA and .922 SP in 43 games. Miller is 7-4-5, 2.69, .915 in 19 contests.
Both netminders have experience facing Chicago. Gibson is 2-2-1, 2.15, .936 in six games. Miller is 5-6-0, 2.84, .912 in 12 contests.
The Blackhawks are led in scoring by Patrick Kane, who has 53 points (21 goals) in 57 games. Rookie sharpshooter Alex DeBrincat has equaled Kane with 21 goals, including one in each of his past two contests.
Anaheim is led by Rickard Rakell, who has 46 points (22 goals) in 53 games. Veteran Ryan Getzlaf has 35 points (seven goals) in 34 games.
This is the second of three meetings this season. Chicago won the first matchup 7-3 on Nov. 27.