For the first time in this young season, the Ducks lost in regulation. Ryan Getzlaf returned to the lineup Monday, but the team was out-played and out-hustled by the Calgary Flames en route to a 2-0 defeat at the Honda Center. The win snapped a 25-game losing streak by the Flames in Anaheim, an NHL record for consecutive road losses by a team. Here’s what we learned:
Injuries mounting: The Ducks were happy to welcome back Getzlaf, their No. 1 center, but now they have another ailment to worry about after winger Ondrej Kase exited the contest and didn’t return. Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said Kase will be re-evaluated Tuesday.
“He bumped his nose there,” Carlyle said. “Anytime there’s anything around the head, they always have that extra precaution that’s necessary.”
Still scoreless on the power play: Eleven man-advantage opportunities through three games, and the Ducks have nothing to show for it. They seem close to breaking through, though. The team pressed hard during their last two power plays of the third period, and even rang one off the post, but paydirt remains elusive. Perhaps they need to get more traffic in front of the net. Then, they might be able to secure the kind of “rebound opportunities” Getzlaf believes they need. He returned to quarterback the power play, so the unit is headed in the right direction, but 0 for 11 is 0 for 11.
Perry scraps: Corey Perry has been feisty to start the season. He ran into Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue on Thursday and set off a melee behind the net which ended with Perry at the bottom of a pile of punches. On Monday, he opened up the action with a cross-check to Flames captain Mark Giordano, followed by a duel with Travis Hamonic for the first five-for-fighting major of the Ducks’ season. Perry landed a right cross on Hamonic’s mouth, but unfortunately, it didn’t build any momentum for the Ducks.
Rakell continues to flash: Rickard Rakell is scoreless since his three-point opening night, but it’s clear his transition to center is going smoothly. The Swede has played well on both ends of the ice, and led the Ducks with seven shots vs. the Flames, including a number of nice scoring chances on the power play. As long as Rakell continues to shoot, he should have a chance to equal his breakout campaign last season with 33 goals.