Center Travis Green returned to the Duck lineup after being sidelined for three consecutive games because of a sprained left knee, and scored his second goal of the season.
Green also drove Carolina Hurricane defenseman Sean Hill into the boards with such force that the former Duck wound up seated on the Anaheim bench.
Certainly, the Ducks missed both aspects of Green’s play while he was sidelined.
“We want to be known as a tenacious team,” Green said when asked about the physical play. “We want to be an in-your-face kind of team.”
Asked about his knee, Green said, “It felt fine.” He did not play with a knee brace he’s worn recently during practice.
Coach Craig Hartsburg pounced on all the Ducks’ mistakes in his comments after Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. But he adopted a softer stance Sunday.
“When things aren’t going your way, the other team gets the breaks,” he said. “But you’ve got to keep working because you make your own breaks. You just can’t snap your fingers and change things. You’ve got to keep working, keep believing and, if we do all the little things right, then we’ll be fine.
“We did a lot of good things tonight and we didn’t get anything for it. That’s obviously not what we came here to do. We came here to win a hockey game and didn’t get it done.”
Having seen what playing a wide-open game can do to his team’s chances against the Ducks, Carolina Coach Paul Maurice stressed playing tighter defense Sunday.
“We are back to being a strong defensive hockey team,” said Maurice, whose team squandered a 3-1 lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ducks Nov. 11 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. “Two of the best offensive players in the world [the Ducks’ Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne] are going to get some chances and I think we did a good job of limiting those two.”
Maurice played the Ron Francis-Gary Roberts-Jeff O’Neill line as much as possible against Kariya, Selanne and Josef Marha.
Carolina defenseman David Karpa, a former Duck, did not play Sunday. Karpa is sidelined indefinitely because of two torn knee ligaments. . . . The Ducks’ scratches: defenseman Fredrik Olausson and forward Antti Aalto (coach’s decision).