Several pieces went out the door through free agency and were not replaced because of salary-cap restrictions. This is not the run-and-gun team that led the
But the Ducks followed Carlyle’s blueprint Wednesday in a 2-1 win over the
"It's easy to understand," Carlyle said. "We're not going to win the 5-4 game. We haven't been able to generate enough offense. We knew that five on five, if we could be stout defensively and improve our penalty killing, then we would give ourselves the best chance. That's what we set out to do, and try to convince our players that it's the 2-1 game, the 3-2 game, the 1-0 game that's going to be the model which we're going to have to adopt."
The lack of offensive threat last season steered the Ducks to use defense as a base, and it has carried over. But it's been a longer-term metamorphosis from the Bruce Boudreau-coached team that averaged 3.21 goals a game three years ago.
The Ducks have steadily declined to 2.78 goals a game in 2014-15 to 2.62 last season and 2.57 going into Friday’s home-stand finale against the
Although they've had five-goal outbursts three times in nine games, their recent 1-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks and the win against St. Louis are more their speed.
"Whether you win or lose, it's kind of irrelevant to us," Getzlaf said. "We want to build something. We want to play well. If we lose the game, then everyone's going to say the wheels are off. It's not about the streaks, it's more about the way we're playing and the consistency we can play with."
It helps to close the doors late. The Ducks are 26-2-1 when leading after two periods and have allowed an NHL-low 48 third-period goals. That confidence showed Wednesday.
"We're doing a really good job to try to dump the puck deep and kill some time in their zone," goalie
Enroth spent the first five seasons of his career with Buffalo. The Ducks traded for him in January and he's gone 10-2 with a 1.42 goals-against average with minor league San Diego.
The Ducks were off Thursday.
When: 7 p.m.
On the air: TV: Prime; Radio: 830