Ducks hardly look like themselves in loss to Blackhawks – Press Enterprise

ANAHEIM — It was tough to figure out what to make of the Ducks on Wednesday night at Honda Center. They welcomed Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon to their lineup after Monday’s trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and then crossed their fingers and hoped for the best.

The Ducks certainly had a new look during their 4-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, and only some of it had to do with General Manager Pat Verbeek’s flurry of moves before the NHL’s trade deadline Monday. Injuries and illnesses altered the lineup in ways that Verbeek hadn’t envisioned.

For starters, Ryan Getzlaf, Jakob Silfverberg and Urho Vaakanainen remained on injured reserve because of various ailments. Sonny Milano also couldn’t play because of an injury. Josh Mahura, Anthony Stolarz and Troy Terry sat out because of illnesses unrelated to COVID-19.

In addition, the Ducks returned forward Danny O’Regan to their AHL team, the San Diego Gulls, and recalled defenseman Brendan Guhle from the Gulls. Lukas Dostal also was summoned from San Diego to serve as goaltender John Gibson’s backup against the Blackhawks.

The Ducks’ lineup Wednesday was made up of only eight skaters plus Gibson who were in their opening-night lineup back on Oct. 13.

“We’ve had a lot of turnover here,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said, acknowledging the obvious. “You’re on the bench and you are looking for Getzlaf and you are looking for Milano and you are looking for Terry. We want to get those guys back as soon as we can, but we’ll see how it goes.”

The Ducks next play the Sharks on Saturday in San Jose.

On Wednesday, the Ducks rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1, thanks to goals in the first and third periods from Sam Carrick, before Dylan Strome scored the tie-breaking goal for the Blackhawks at 16:10 of the final period. Trevor Zegras assisted on Carrick’s second goal, setting a club rookie record with his 31st.

Cam Fowler had set the rookie record with 30 assists in 2010-11.

There was no repeat of the disjointed game the Ducks played in the 8-3 beatdown they suffered at the hands of the Blackhawks in their March 8 game in Chicago. That’s not to say the Ducks were sharp because they weren’t, and their winless streak reached eight games (0-6-2).

The Ducks started with good intentions Wednesday, winning battles for loose pucks and containing the Blackhawks until their penalty kill let them down again. Chicago took a 2-1 lead going into the third period on the strength of power-play goals by Taylor Raddysh in the first and Patrick Kane in the second.

On Monday, the Ducks gave up three power-play goals in a 6-3 loss to the Nashville Predators.

On Wednesday, Carrick tied the score, 1-1, with his 10th goal of the season and tied it again, 2-2, with his 11th in his 100th career game in the NHL. It was a meaningful milestone for Carrick, who then told reporters that reaching 100 games was more meaningful for his family than for himself.

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