It's become a Sisyphean task for the Ducks to string two wins together. Like the Greek myth, every time they roll the stone to the top of hill, it rolls back down.
What was disconcerting about Sunday was that they had trouble with that first push. Playing at home against a goalie who hadn't played an NHL game since 2015, the Ducks didn't have the initial will.
Not even a 44-shot barrage made up for it in a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center.
The Ducks fell behind, 2-0, and lost despite two third-period power plays and Patrick Eaves' second goal in as many games.
"We didn't come prepared to play the hockey game," Ryan Getzlaf said. "In this time of year, we're going to have to play 60 minutes every night. You don't get away with starting late the way we did tonight."
It was probably a bad sign when Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler had to break up a scoring chance in the opening minute, as there seemed to be more open ice than the Ducks usually allow.
"I didn't think we showed or demonstrated enough desperation in the hockey game until the third period," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. "I think we allowed them too much freedom on the ice. They played give-and-go hockey and they moved the puck around. It was like we were chasing the game in the first 40 minutes."
The Ducks outshot the Canucks, 19-4, in the third period and got one goal on journeyman goalie Richard Bachman, whose 43 saves earned him his first win since Oct. 30, 2015.
Anaheim failed in its sixth straight attempt at consecutive wins. Vancouver earned a weekend Kings-Ducks sweep.
"You catch a team on the second night of a back-to-back, you want to make them earn it," Fowler said. "We didn't enforce our will early enough in the game and they were able to get their legs into it and get a 2-0 lead. And when we finally woke up a little bit, it was the third."
The winning goal resulted after the Ducks won a faceoff in Vancouver's zone. Vancouver's Markus Granlund broke up Kevin Bieksa's pass to start a two-on-one, with Corey Perry defending, and beat goalie Jonathan Bernier five-hole.
"We tried to do something that normally I haven't [seen] this group try to do," Carlyle said of the play.
Vancouver lost forward Loui Eriksson to a lower-body injury nearly three minutes into the game, on a hit by Chris Wagner against the boards. But it struck first on Bo Horvat's 20th goal. Bernier thought he secured Ben Hutton's shot but the puck trickled out and Horvat easily tapped it in.
Eaves converted Getzlaf's pass with a snapshot from left wing at 6:12 of the third period and has two goals in three games since he arrived from the Dallas Stars.
Eaves is a power-play specialist, but the Ducks have only had three power plays in two games. They dropped to one for 35 over the last 13 games.
Some of that had to do with the Canucks' active sticks. They blocked 17 shots and forced the Ducks to miss 20 other shots.
"They did a good job of getting in lanes," Eaves said. "We threw a lot at the net — we threw things from the sides, from all over the place … unfortunately it didn't bounce out to one of us."