Defensive lapses continue for Ducks in 6-2 loss at Florida

Ducks falter on defense in a 6-2 loss at Florida, Anaheim's third defeat in a row on the road

The Ducks may be in first place, but their 6-2 loss Tuesday to the Florida Panthers made clear they certainly aren't happy with their defensive standing.

In a series of breakdowns that raise the urgency in Anaheim's pursuit of a defenseman before the March 2 trade deadline, the Ducks suffered their third consecutive road defeat and surrendered at least four goals for the fifth time in seven games.

"Very concerned, that's unlike our group and we can't accept that — we can't be giving up those kinds of scoring chances, leaving our goalies out to dry, backdoor tap-ins every time," Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said. "Something we have to address."

Getzlaf said he'll leave it to the Ducks' front office to respond.

"All I do is play hockey, make sure my team's ready to play, and that's what I have to do now," he said.

"Obviously," the existing cast has "proven we can play. There's no big mystery. We know what's in here. That's the most frustrating part."

Florida (24-17-11) outscored the Ducks (34-14-7) by a combined 12-4 in two meetings this season.

Anaheim committed nine penalties and gave up three power-play goals to a team that ranked 27th in that category before the game.

"I was on for a bunch of goals — not good," Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said, assessing his night after being minus-three in the second period with a penalty. "I need to be better. We can't give up that many goals, and we've done it a lot recently.

"Gotta look in the mirror, go punch the pillow tonight, be [ticked] off, and hopefully come back with a better effort against Carolina" on Thursday.

On Tuesday morning, the Ducks placed goalie Frederik Andersen on injured reserve after he was struck on the back of the head and neck by a tipped-over goal in Sunday's loss at Tampa Bay.

Defense-minded forward Jakob Silfverberg and defenseman Hampus Lindholm were also scratched. Silfverberg had flu symptoms (nausea), and the Ducks kept Lindholm out after he suffered a lower-body injury Sunday.

Goalie John Gibson was summoned from minor league Norfolk, but Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said he wanted veteran Ilya Bryzgalov, Andersen's backup, to start because elevating Gibson to the honor would be an unfair "kick in the butt" to Bryzgalov.

Florida took care of that.

Leading 2-0 on two first-period power-play goals, Florida drove Bryzgalov to the bench when center Jonathan Huberdeau barged past Lovejoy and dished to defenseman Aaron Ekblad for a clear shot.

Kyle Palmieri's goal on a two-man advantage pulled Anaheim within 3-1.

But it was quickly 5-1, the Panthers scoring twice in a 22-second span as Gibson was left alone to face immense pressure.

"There's a lot of individual mistakes," Boudreau said. "I don't want to single anyone out, but we're concerned with the amount of goals we're giving up."

First, Aleksander Barkov took a pass through traffic and converted the chance with polished puck-handling skills, flipping a backhand to Gibson's left.

Then, a long pass to Florida's Tomas Fleischmann evaded Ducks defenseman Eric Brewer, the rebound going to Dave Bolland, who beat Lovejoy to the puck and scored.

"We need to be better with the puck … far too many lapses tonight," Lovejoy said.

Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin was slapped with a game misconduct late in the third period for arguing with officials.

"Frustration — 6-2, took too many penalties. Just frustration," Beauchemin said.

Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire

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