Hurricanes, Ducks aim to rebound from OT losses
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Call it the battle of the downcast as the Anaheim Ducks host the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night in Anaheim.
Each team comes in having lost an overtime game despite notching the tying goal late in regulation time.
Carolina (11-10-7) played Saturday night up the freeway in Los Angeles. The Hurricanes fought off a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the third period, but the Kings emerged with a 3-2 overtime win. Scott Darling recorded 18 saves in the defeat.
The Ducks (12-11-7) dropped a 3-2 home OT loss to Minnesota. Anaheim allowed two quick goals in the second period, then came back to tie the game late in the third period. The Ducks have not won any of their seven overtime contests this year.
"Yes, we're not happy we didn't win the hockey game, but we got a point and it's time to move on and get ready for Carolina," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.
The Ducks have gained points in five of their past six games with two wins and three overtime/shootout defeats.
"We played good at times," Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said after the Minnesota game. "They capitalized off our mistakes. We didn't make too many, but just the little things."
The Hurricanes are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games. Three of their past four went to OT, and they won once in that span.
"The guys were dialed in right from the drop of the puck," Carolina coach Bill Peters said after the Saturday loss. "I thought we were real good. I thought we had the puck lots. I thought there's lots of things we can build on and move forward with."
Down 2-0, Carolina had every reason to go into the third period against Los Angeles discouraged. The Kings are the league's best team at goal differential in the third. The Hurricanes tied the game on two goals in the second half of the period, including one on the power play.
Ultimately, it was a long rebound that buried Carolina after it dominated the five-minute extra period. Tanner Pearson shot from a distance, and Darling knocked it out with his blocker. Pearson followed the puck in and shot again, putting it over the goalie.
"Both teams didn't give up too much. We did a good job of fighting back and just staying with it," Hurricanes center Jordan Staal said. "We've been a little mentally soft the last few games, and tonight we could have easily folded it. The third period was big for us. It was a whole game of working hard, which is what we want to do, and (if) we play like that every night, we're going to be a lot better off."
On Monday, Anaheim's approach largely will match what the new-look Kings showed the Hurricanes on Saturday. The Ducks stretch out the ice, using long passes, often bouncing the puck off the boards to get behind the defense. Even depleted with injuries, Anaheim has Corey Perry, Andrew Cogliano and Rickard Rakell to take advantage of any defensive slowness of foot.
The Ducks may also see the return of captain Ryan Getzlaf and forward Jakob Silfverberg, according to the Orange County Register.
Getzlaf has been sidelined 19 games, since Oct. 29, due to a fractured orbital bone. He skated with the team late last week, but Carlyle did not indicate a specific date for his return at that time.
Silfverberg has been sidelined for five games because of an upper-body injury.
The Ducks put right winger Jared Boll on waivers Sunday. He has been out since Nov. 7 with a lower-body injury. The club called up defenseman Andy Welinski from San Diego of the American Hockey League.
Carolina's offense will counter Anaheim's speed with an aggressive forecheck that redirects the puck back to the center slot area. The Hurricanes were successful at that after a slow start Saturday, outshooting the Kings 9-7 in the first period and 34-21 in the game. They dominated overtime, keeping the puck in the Kings' end for more than two minutes in one stretch. Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick made acrobatic saves late in regulation and again in overtime to give his team a chance to win.
The Hurricanes must gather the will to win that has been sapped from them on their California road trip. Against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, they allowed two power-play and two short-handed goals, including the tying goal late regulation. Against the Kings, they charged back only to lose in OT.
The Hurricanes imported a handful of Stanley Cup winners and some veteran leadership this year. The Ducks are slowly recovering a veteran core decimated by injury. Both are mid-pack squads right now. Each hopes that a win Monday could be the start of changing that.
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