Chances and a point slipped away from the Ducks on Friday, as they let a two-goal lead vanish and lost in a shootout to the Arizona Coyotes.
“If we score the goals we should be scoring, we win the game,” said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano, among those lamenting a missed opportunity in the 3-2 defeat at Honda Center. “If not, you give the other team an opportunity to get some life and squeeze it out like they did.”
Arizona (6-6-1) claimed its third consecutive victory thanks to shootout goals by Mikkel Boedker and Sam Gagner after misses by Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly and center Ryan Kesler.
After Jakob Silfverberg gave Anaheim (10-3-2) a 1-0 lead in the shootout, Kesler missed his try high and wide, capping a frustrating night in which he put six shots on goal but was denied on each.
“It got away from us for six minutes,” Kesler said. “We were the better team. We deserved better.”
He was referring to his team’s 2-0 lead that vanished when Arizona scored twice in a 58-second span early in the second period.
First, Coyotes forward Ron Klinkhammer deflected a pass/shot by teammate Martin Hanzal past Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen.
Then, Shane Doan became the Ducks’ most prolific goal-scoring opponent by one-timing a shot to Andersen’s left.
Doan now has 33 career goals against Anaheim, passing Brett Hull, who scored 32 in the opposing sweaters of St. Louis, Dallas and Detroit.
Arizona goalie Mike Smith closed the first period by stopping Kesler on a breakaway, and then stood up to all 25 shots he faced in the final two periods, using his right pad to deny Emerson Etem in the second and then watching a teammate interrupt another up-close Kesler shot.
“[Smith] played well, he kept them in it,” Kesler said.
A year after leading the NHL in goals, averaging more than three a game, the Ducks’ average is 2.1. In addition to missing NHL goals leader Corey Perry for a second straight game with flu symptoms, several droughts continued.
“Had so many grade-A chances, we’ve got to score those,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Squeezing the sticks tight. … I can see plays that would normally go in not going in.”
Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler left the ice with an apparent left leg injury in the third period after a collision with Arizona’s Martin Erat. Boudreau said his condition will be evaluated by Saturday.
The bad turn was a surprise after Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf returned from his own flu outage and scored 5:02 into the game. Getzlaf took a pass from falling defenseman Sami Vatanen and shot from one knee to score on a power play. Vatanen has contributed each of his six assists this season with a man advantage.
Then, Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey set up his seventh goal by pounding Arizona defenseman Connor Murphy to the glass and swiping the puck from him.
Silfverberg had a good look that Smith stopped, only to fall forward and watch Beleskey beat the goalie high for the 2-0 lead. The Ducks outhit the Coyotes 23-12 in the first, forcing nine giveaways.
“Consistency’s something we have to address right now,” Getzlaf said. “You’ve got to take advantage in these home games against divisional opponents.”
Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire