One attribute that carried the Ducks to the best regular-season record in the Western Conference last season was their ability to respond emphatically from a crushing loss.
Routed 6-1 in last year's season opener in Colorado, they returned with seven consecutive victories. Embarrassed on March 12 in Calgary, 7-2, they won or gained a point in overtime in 10 of the next 12 games.
So after the calamity of Thursday's 6-4 season-opening loss at Pittsburgh — the Penguins putting 39 shots on net and scoring three goals in the first 14 minutes — the Ducks delivered a crisp practice Friday, made some adjustments and vowed to be better.
"We have to make things work," said forward Andrew Cogliano, who remained on a line with Jakob Silfverberg in practice but was joined by rookie center William Karlsson. Ryan Kesler switched to a line alongside Matt Beleskey and Devante Smith-Pelly.
"The expectation is fully that when we have a bad game, the guys get a wake-up call. We respond. It attests to the leadership in the room. Things don't snowball here, we won't let it. The Red Wings are good, though. They just beat Boston. We have to play a top game to beat them."
In a team viewing of Thursday's loss, Coach Bruce Boudreau highlighted "moments we got outcompeted," Cogliano said. "When you see yourself losing battles, not giving 100% effort, it stings. So you get back into a competitive attitude, and that hopefully translates to the next game."
Put me in, coach
The flat showing by youngsters Rickard Rakell at center with forwards Emerson Etem and Smith-Pelly led Boudreau to quickly break up the three, and it appears rookie Karlsson will make his NHL debut Saturday. He notched three assists in four preseason games.
"It's been a dream since I was a kid, and now I'm here," Karlsson said. "I just want to go out there and have fun and enjoy the moment."
On Thursday's loss, Karlsson said, "My main thought was, I wanted to be on the ice. I'm pretty confident in myself. I can play at this level, and I think I'll show that.
"When you get in there, that's your chance. Do your best. What's the worst thing that can happen?"
When: 4 PDT.
TV: Prime Ticket. Radio: 830.