Wild too much for Ana­heim

They muster only five shots in the first pe­riod, 21 over­all, in the lack­lus­ter de­feat.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - BY MIKE COP­PINGER sports@la­times.com

Mikael Gran­lund nets two goals as the Ducks suf­fer their worst loss of the sea­son.


John Gib­son, of­ten the lone bright spot in an oth­er­wise gloomy cam­paign, fi­nally couldn’t take any­more.

With the Ducks trudg­ing to­ward yet an­other loss — their ninth in the last 11 games — Gib­son got Min­nesota Wild for­ward Eric Fehr into a head­lock, lift­ing his hel­met to the ice.

Who could blame Gib­son? The Ducks once again hung their start­ing goal­tender out to dry, this time with 43 shots in a 5-1 loss to the Wild on Fri­day at Honda Cen­ter.

All that op­ti­mism the Ducks en­gi­neered Wed­nes­day when it seemed as if they fi­nally broke though? Kiss it good­bye. Randy Car­lyle’s bunch was out­played from start to fin­ish.

“It brings you back to earth in a hurry,” the Ducks coach said. “The bot­tom line is our per­for­mance was one we’re not proud of and we all have to share the re­spon­si­bil­ity of why it hap­pened and how it hap­pened and get our­selves ready.”

The Ducks had trou­ble just ad­vanc­ing the puck past the red line. They reg­is­tered only five shots in the open­ing pe­riod, and 21 to­tal.

Nick Ritchie re­turned from an up­per-body in­jury, bring­ing the team closer to its full com­ple­ment of play­ers. It was eas­ier for fans to stom­ach the strug­gles with so many key skaters miss­ing in ac­tion.

What’s the ex­cuse for such a life­less per­for­mance now that Patrick Eaves, Josh Man­son, Jakob Sil­fver­berg, and most im­por­tant, Ryan Get­zlaf, are play­ing to­gether?

“It was just em­bar­rass­ing re­ally … we weren’t will­ing to do any­thing to win the game and the score was in­dica­tive of that,” An­drew Cogliano said, the dis­con­tent clear in his voice.

“There’s no one feel­ing sorry for you in this league. You have to for­get about it as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

It’s an es­pe­cially dis­ap­point­ing ef­fort, both Cogliano and Get­zlaf ac­knowl­edged, given how well the team played in the vic­tory over the Cal­gary Flames two days ear­lier. They felt mo­men­tum was build­ing. It came to a screech­ing halt against the Wild (10-4-2).

Ja­son Zucker and Mikael Gran­lund con­nected on a pair of nifty passes to one an­other for goals less than four min­utes apart in the sec­ond pe­riod.

Gran­lund was able to break free from Man­son on his marker and later added a sec­ond goal; Zucker es­caped back­door on his own. And it was a Luke Schenn turnover that led to Jor­dan Green­way’s goal just 1:48 into the game, the sev­enth time in nine out­ings the Ducks al­lowed the first tally.

Play­ing from be­hind is a recipe for dis­as­ter for any team, but es­pe­cially for this Ducks squad that is ranked sec­ond-to-last in scor­ing (2.35 goals per game en­ter­ing the con­test).

“It’s very frus­trat­ing,” Get­zlaf said. “We’re try­ing to build. And ev­ery day you try to be pos­i­tive, you try to do things prop­erly and for what­ever rea­son … I didn’t think we had it men­tally tonight.”

Af­ter the Wild made it 5-1 with 3:57 re­main­ing, a “Fire Car­lyle!” chant broke out in the up­per deck. One has to won­der whether gen­eral man­ager Bob Mur­ray is con­tem­plat­ing a change to spark his life­less squad.

Alex Gal­lardo As­so­ci­ated Press

THE DUCKS’ Adam Hen­rique, cen­ter, bat­tles for the puck with the Wild’s Jor­dan Green­way, left, as goal­tender Alex Stalock, right, de­fends the net on Fri­day.

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