Ducks are ‘embarrassed’ by Coyotes, 4-0, for third straight loss
Anton Khudobin’s surname is actually first pronounced with a question, as in “who-doh-binn.”
But the query that seemed more appropriate for the Ducks after Wednesday was “What?” As in “What is happening?”
The Ducks last season were easily able to erase deficits but their offense continued to search in disconcerting fashion in a 4-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center.
“We’ve just got to wake up,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “We’re playing like a team that’s not playing for anything right now. It’s accountability throughout our locker room that we’re going to have to start doing starting [Thursday] … we got embarrassed in our building.”
Khudobin made his Ducks debut as part of Coach Bruce Boudreau’s preset goalie plan for the first three games of the season, and that script turned when Khudobin allowed three goals on eight shots and was removed in favor of usual starter Frederik Andersen.
More concerning was that the Ducks couldn’t make that up as they often looked disjointed and continued to come up empty offensively.
They have been outscored 7-1 and shut out twice in three games. They still seek their first win as opposed to renewed Arizona, which looks like a vastly improved team from the one that finished last in the Western Conference last season.
“We weren’t ready from the puck drop,” Ryan Kesler said. “I think we’ve got to realize that we’re a good team when we work. We’re not on the same page right now. We’re working hard, but sometimes we’re not working smart and we’re discombobulated right now.”
Arizona rookie Anthony Duclair recorded his first career hat trick, his three goals coming in a 31-minute span.
Khudobin previously was backup to elite goalies Cam Ward with the Carolina Hurricanes and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins. He was brought in for depth because the Ducks didn’t want to fall into an emergency situation like last season when Andersen and John Gibson got hurt at different times.
Khudobin had a solid preseason and wants to make a case for more than a backup role, but his opening argument lasted fewer than 13 minutes.
Duclair scored twice in the first 10 minutes, five seconds. He wristed a shot along the ice off a faceoff win by Martin Hanzal that went under Khudobin and into the net. Duclair later finished a rush when he took the puck off his skate and whacked it in from the left side for a power-play goal and a 2-0 lead.
Highly regarded Arizona rookie Max Domi, the son of noted NHL enforcer Tie Domi, made it 3-0 with an impressive backhand from the right faceoff dot that was lifted over Khudobin’s left shoulder at 12:53 of the first period.
Duclair, 20, completed his hat trick with a shot from the left circle after Arizona outworked and distracted Jakob Silfverberg and Kesler to maintain possession.
The Ducks will next get a shot at their first win Friday but might be down a defenseman because Clayton Stoner missed Wednesday with a lower-body injury, the team announced. Josh Manson took his place and made his season debut.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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