Instead they fell to 1-8 in games that end in overtime this season with a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Sunday that could be looked at two ways.
They pushed through a typically grinding game against the Blues at Honda Center, the second of a back-to-back set for both teams, and secured points in 11 of 12 games. On the other hand, their inability to figure out the three-on-three format has left questions and points on the table.
“If we knew what we could do different in overtime to turn it around we would have done it a long time ago,” Rickard Rakell said. “It’s just small things that’s the difference.”
Schwartz drifted to the right-side wall and made a centering pass to set up Berglund’s second goal of the game.
“Three-on-three’s a little bit tricky when everyone kind of circles outside the zone there,” Getzlaf said. “I think he caught me a little bit flat-footed and I let him get to the inside and he made a good play.”
The miscue dampened what looked like a departure from the Ducks’ usual path to victory.
They erased a 1-0 deficit on Rakell’s 18th goal in the third period.
They got another clutch game from goalie John Gibson, who held the opposition to two or fewer goals for the sixth straight start. His save on Vladimir Tarasenko on a partial breakaway early in the third kept it a one-goal game.
The Ducks didn’t dwell much on their overtime record, although Coach Randy Carlyle said, “It’s insulting at times, for us to look at.”
Considering it was their third game in four nights and they outhit the Blues, 45-25, including 10 hits by Ducks defenseman Josh Manson, they earned a day off Monday.
Getzlaf did allow for some frustration in a format that has not been kind. Their one overtime win came on a goalie gaffe by the Arizona Coyotes.
“The overtime thing now has become such a — I don’t want to say a joke — but when it’s three-on-three it makes it a lot harder,” Getzlaf said.
“It’s a lot different game. The whole thing is way different. We’ve got to find a way to play it better.”
Getzlaf’s hard shot and rebound off St. Louis goalie Carter Hutton allowed Rakell to chip it in off his backhand 5:11 into the third period. It was a delayed penalty and the Ducks pulled Gibson for an extra attacker.
Berglund put in a loose puck from the right side that slipped under Gibson at 11:03 of the second period. The Blues won a faceoff and a shot deflected off Gibson and bounced off the end boards to Berglund.
“They got a goal off a faceoff play, which is always a burr in a coach’s side,” Carlyle said. “We responded in the third period. We had a good effort. We’ve had a great little run and we’re still getting points. That’s the most important thing.”