The Ducks’ season continued to spiral out of control with a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, their sixth consecutive defeat.
The Ducks appeared to be headed for overtime after Pontus Aberg’s second goal of the game tied the contest with almost two minutes left, but just 21 seconds later, the Flyers regained the lead for good. Here’s what we learned:
The Ducks were outshot once again. That’s been the case in each of those six losses, and most of their wins, too. They’ve outshot the opposition only once this year.
The Ducks have generated just 319 shots on goal through 13 games; the league average is 359. During that span, the squad has allowed 501 shots coming back at John Gibson and Ryan Miller. The rest of the league: 357.
They can’t continue to lose the possession battle each game and expect to break out of this funk.
“At the end of the day, we haven’t been good at keeping shots down,” Andrew Cogliano said. “I thought this game we had some momentum and played a good third period and tied it up. At this point in the season, we are who we are.”
Injuries are no doubt contributing to the Ducks’ struggles, but how much better will they really be at full strength? After all, there’s no 40-goal scorers coming off injured reserve. Their best forwards, Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell, are healthy.
The Ducks lead the NHL with 65 man games lost. Among those who have yet to suit up this season: Ondrej Kase, coming off a breakout campaign with 20 goals; Patrick Eaves, who scored 32 goals in 2016-17 before playing just two games last year; and Corey Perry, who won’t be back until next year.
They’re also missing Nick Ritchie, Max Comtois and Carter Rowney. The defensive group had been healthy all season, but Josh Manson missed Tuesday’s game with an upper-body injury.
One silver lining: The Ducks continue to receive stellar goaltending no matter who’s in net. Gibson enjoyed a rare night off Tuesday, and it was Miller’s time to shine.
The former Vezina Trophy winner sports a .932 save percentage and a 2.44 goals-against-average through four games. Those are in line with his numbers from last season.
The 38-year-old stopped 33 shots against the Flyers, including a bevy of Grade A scoring opportunities.
Even great goaltending can’t cover up all warts. The Ducks lead the NHL in both scoring chances against and high-danger scoring changes allowed.