The Ducks had only two three-game stretches at home without a victory all of last season, and those slumps came in February and March.
This is far from panic time. The Ducks (10-3-2) own the best record in the NHL and have a Sunday showdown with Pacific Division rival Vancouver from which to draw motivation to end their two-game home losing streak.
But, as Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes showed, things are out of kilter.
Thoughts of scoring slumps are distracting
Former Canuck Ryan Kesler, coming off a 25-goal season with Montreal, has scored only once in 12 games and couldn’t find the net on six shots Friday.
Forward Andrew Cogliano has just one goal following his career-best 21 last season. And Jakob Silfverberg remains without a goal through 15 games, although he did log a shootout goal Friday.
The Ducks led the NHL in goals last season, but their goals-per-game average has dipped more than a full goal to 2.1 through 15 games.
“Once you get one … they all need a goal, and if they get a goal, they’ll start going in,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Get some orange juice in Corey Perry, quick
The NHL goals leader missed his second consecutive game with flu symptoms, and the absence has been noticeable, especially in the pressure moments when Perry’s focus sharpens.
“He scores goals in big times for us,” Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf said of his first-line mate. “Obviously, as a group, we have to rally and fill that void collectively. For me, it’s different. There’s plays, I know he’s there and [now] there’s nobody there. Those are plays I need to adjust to.”
Cam Fowler’s lower-body injury needs to be minor
With goalie John Gibson out six weeks because of a groin injury and Fowler’s top defensive pair mate, Ben Lovejoy, sidelined because of a fractured finger, Boudreau was seen asking a team doctor for a “good update” after Friday’s game.
Fowler collided with Arizona’s Martin Erat in the third period and left for the dressing room. News from his evaluation should come at Saturday’s practice.
While defenseman Bryan Allen (six hits, three blocked shots) was sharp in his debut Friday, the Ducks need Fowler on the ice.
The Dany Heatley project is not going well
The promise of Heatley’s arrival was uplifting in September, but the former two-time 50-goal scorer was a healthy scratch for the third time in six games Friday and he doesn’t have a point.
Boudreau said Heatley has had sufficient time to become comfortable with his new teammates and the time has come for him to start producing.