Unlike their opponents Sunday, the Ducks aren’t in the postseason hunt.
With just 59 points — seven games below .500 — the Ducks have nothing tangible to play for this season.
It’s a prideful locker room, though, one unaccustomed to this situation after qualifying for the playoffs each of the last six seasons.
With a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Honda Center, the Ducks halted their five-game losing streak and dealt a blow to the Colorado Avalanche’s playoff hopes.
“It’s about creating habits and creating that winning atmosphere again, even if it means to take over into next season,” said the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf, who returned from a five-game absence due to an upper-body injury.
“When you bring up young players, the last thing you want them to do is learn how to lose.”
Guhle pounced on a neutral-zone turnover and found Silfverberg, whose short-side snipe sent Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer’s Gatorade bottle lid airborne, his drink splashing all over the ice. The blue-liner led the Ducks in shots with four and received more than three minutes of power-play time.
“He’s a really good kid; very smart in the way he approaches the game,” said Fowler, who paired with Guhle. Fowler’s wrist shot careened its way through traffic for a power-play goal at 10:26 of the second period.
“He’s pretty savvy for a 21-year-old. There’s a lot of details in his game that I know I sure didn’t have at that age. I’m trying to pull him along as best as I can, he doesn't really need much of my help.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Ducks. Devin Shore, who has been playing second-line center, was helped off the ice midway through the second period after receiving a knee-on-knee hit from Ian Cole. The Colorado defenseman was docked with a five-minute major for kneeing along with a game misconduct.
Shore didn’t return; he’ll undergo an MRI on Monday, according to assistant coach Mark Morrison. The rest of team will practice Monday at Honda Center and prepare for Tuesday’s road game with the Arizona Coyotes.