Well, they played the Ottawa Senators, butwhile getting shut out for the third time this season, a 3-0 loss to a goaltender making his third NHL start, the expected effort from the first-place team at Honda Center was absent.
"If we want to be the team we want to be, it has to be the same no matter who you're playing," defenseman Cam Fowler said after the Ducks were beaten for the second time this season by the Atlantic Division's sixth-place team.
Andrew Hammond made 25 saves for his first NHL shutout, stopping five shots from Ducks goals leader Corey Perry.
"Had some chances, but frustrating, we stopped playing our game in the second period," Perry said. "The second and third opportunities, we weren't getting. Weren't getting to the loose pucks. We have to be hungry, have to be stronger."
Coach Bruce Boudreau declined to accept the Ducks fell into a trap game between Monday's shootout victory over the Red Wings and the coming Kings' game, calling Wednesday's performance "maddening."
For a second consecutive game, the Ducks trailed, 2-0, after two periods.
The formula for this blanking was set up in the first 40 minutes by two shots off posts (by Fowler and Andrew Cogliano) and four Anaheim penalties. The Ducks took only eight second-period shots.
"We got out-battled and out-competed," Boudreau said. "I'll give [Ottawa] a little credit, but we're capable of doing so much more offensively."
Ottawa scored 10 minutes 57 seconds into the game when defenseman Eric Gryba launched a deep shot from the blue line that evaded traffic in front of goalie John Gibson until it deflected off the stick of Senators forward Erik Condra to the net.
Gibson had 20 saves through the first two periods, but one, a leg-pad stop of Mike Hoffman's shot, was rebounded to the left of the goalie by center Mika Zibanejad for a 2-0 lead at 3:23 of the second period.
The second assist was credited to former Duck Bobby Ryan, who in four games against his former team has one goal, three assists and is plus-four.
Boudreau said sloppy line changes hampered the cause.
After the Ducks managed only seven shots at Hammond in the third period, center Kyle Turris scored into an empty net with seven seconds to play.
The game featured the Anaheim debut of 22-year-old forward Jiri Sekac, who was acquired Tuesday from Montreal for forward Devante Smith-Pelly and learned late in the afternoon that he could play because his work visa documentation had been approved.
Sekac took a second-period shot and spent some time on the first line with Perry and center Ryan Getzlaf, but also committed a tripping penalty while playing on the second line with center Ryan Kesler and ex-Ottawa forward Jakob Silfverberg.
"The team has a lot of potential, and if we put the pucks on the net a little more, I'm pretty sure we're going to have some success," Sekac said.
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