Misfortune and miscue infected the Ducks' after a successful run up to game No. 41.
Anaheim showed a lot of positive signs again but couldn't overcome another night of dried-up offense in a game with little to no margin of error, a 2-1 loss to Detroit to mark the halfway point of the season.
Here's what we learned:
They've built up mental toughness the hard way: The Ducks have resigned themselves to getting wins by the skin of their teeth and have learned to handle adversity better. A bad goal allowed and several shots off the post might have doomed them psychologically a few months back, but they've shown resolve since Christmas and did again Sunday.
"I think we're resilient," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said. "I think we're strong mentally. I think we've been through a lot already. We've been beaten up pretty good mentally. We've taken our lumps. We've bounced back. We've been determined. We're OK mentally. We've had some tough losses this year, and this is one of them."
Ryan Getzlaf couldn't be more snake-bitten. Getzlaf's offensive struggle is among the most baffling in the NHL. He has yet to score an even-strength goal in the Ducks' 41 games.
His defensive game has also faltered, as evidenced by his game-deciding giveaway. Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau mentioned a "dark cloud" hanging over their captain, and that's not a good sign at the halfway point.
"A mistake like that -- it hurts," Getzlaf said. "Obviously I can't do those things."
Detroit probably should have had three goals. Replays in Detroit reportedly showed that Riley Sheahan's long shot appeared to go in under the crossbar and through the net in the first period. Officials were seen looking for holes in the netting. It was reviewed and upheld as a no-goal.
It didn't matter anyway, but it does point out the difficulty of reviewing such plays, even with modern technology.