National Hockey League
Ducks-Blackhawks Preview
National Hockey League

Ducks-Blackhawks Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:51 p.m. ET

Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said a lack of respect for a last-place opponent is why his team lost its last game.

They won't have the same problem when their road trip continues against the Western Conference leader.

The Ducks look to bounce back Saturday night when they face a Chicago Blackhawks team that knocked them out of last season's playoffs and has won this season's first two meetings in overtime.

Anaheim was on its way to victory Thursday against Columbus, leading 2-0 late in the second period, but allowed a goal with five seconds to go in that period and blew another two-goal lead in the third of its 4-3 shootout loss. The Ducks (26-19-8) were outshot 34-27 and went 0 for 2 on the power play.


''Personally, I just didn't think we respected that team enough to start that game,'' Boudreau said. ''And this is the NHL. You can't come into a game and not respect your opponent. We were lucky to get a point, but we'll bounce back.''

The Blackhawks (36-18-4) have a similar mindset after a pair of disappointing showings reduced their lead over second-place Dallas to a point.

Two nights after opening a four-game homestand with a 2-0 loss to San Jose, Chicago fell behind by four goals - three by Patrick Eaves - in the first period of Thursday's 4-2 setback to the Stars.

The Blackhawks dominated play in the third, outshooting the Stars 21-2, but the early deficit was too big to overcome.

''The last two, we've been in a little bit of a funk,'' said Patrick Kane, who scored his 33rd goal but fell out of the league lead. ''We'll work ourself out of it, just like we always do, and come back ready to play Saturday.''

Having a healthy Artemi Panarin would certainly help, and after participating in the morning skate Saturday, he's expected to play after missing the last two games with an illness. The 24-year-old, who plays alongside Kane and Artem Anisimov, is second on the team with 52 points and leads all rookies.

"I think anytime you miss one of your top players it's going to have an effect on everyone," said Kane, who has 77 points.

Anisimov had the winner in Anaheim on Nov. 27 after Jonathan Toews scored in a 1-0 victory over the Ducks on Oct. 26, their first meeting since last season's conference finals.

Corey Crawford has stopped 62 of 64 shots against Anaheim this season but was shaky Thursday, making 14 saves on 18 shots. Crawford, who was replaced after one period by Scott Darling, was 13-3-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average in his previous 16 starts.

The Blackhawks had won 13 of 15 at Chicago before this homestand and haven't lost three in a row overall since Nov. 28-Dec. 3.

The Ducks have lost two of three to start a seven-game trip for their only defeats in the last nine contests. They haven't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 21 and 22. Since then, they've gone a West-best 14-4-2 with the Blackhawks owning the conference's second-best record at 16-6-0.

Frederik Andersen has been instrumental to Anaheim's success and Boudreau praised his 31-save performance Thursday in his first loss since New Year's Day. He is 6-0-2 with a 1.72 GAA in 2016 while John Gibson is 5-4-0 with a 2.83 GAA over that same stretch.

Corey Perry, who has a team-high 21 goals, was held without a point for the second time in nine games Tuesday. He had three goals in last season's playoff series with the Blackhawks but has only two assists while the Ducks have lost six of the last seven regular-season meetings with Chicago.


Get more from National Hockey League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more