Ducks try to halt seven-game slide, host Blue Jackets
The Anaheim Ducks will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak in franchise history when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at Honda Center.
The Ducks (5-6-3) have lost seven in a row (0-5-2) and haven't earned two points in a game since a 4-1 victory against the visiting New York Islanders on Oct. 17.
Columbus (7-6-0) played Saturday night at the Los Angeles Kings. They gave up two short-handed goals in the third period and finished 0-for-5 on the power play in the 4-1 loss at Staples Center.
Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky returned after missing the previous 10 games with an oblique injury. He did not have a shot on goal in 10:44 of ice time.
Dubinsky's numbers declined last season as he missed seven weeks because of an orbital bone fracture, which occurred during a fight against the Edmonton Oilers, but he averaged 14.5 goals the previous four years with the Blue Jackets.
Anaheim has twice lost eight in a row in franchise history. Both losing streaks came early in the season and each time the Ducks rebounded to qualify for the playoffs.
The first losing streak ran from Oct. 12-30, 1996. Six months later, Anaheim made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in seven games.
The second eight-game losing streak occurred Nov. 3-20, 2005, the first season for current coach Randy Carlyle in his first stint in Anaheim.
The Ducks not only bounced back to reach the postseason, but made it to the Western Conference Finals, losing in five games to the Oilers.
Signs are emerging that Ducks could be turning things around.
They no longer lead the league in shots against after limiting their past two opponents below their 37.8 average.
The Ducks are also beginning to get players back from injury and rehabilitation. Patrick Eaves made his season debut Thursday night and the veteran right wing played limited minutes in the 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.
Eaves had been out of action for just over a year after recovering from an illness and then shoulder surgery.
The top offensive players for Anaheim are also beginning to heat up as well.
Rickard Rakell has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past eight games, and Ryan Getzlaf has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a four-game point streak.
Getzlaf set up Rakell for the game-tying goal with 26 seconds left in regulation against the Rangers, allowing the Ducks to earn a point in the tightly packed Pacific Division.
"It was an improvement, that's for sure," Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg said. "Now it's a matter of getting the offense clicking and spending more time in the (offensive) zone."
Anaheim is still early in a friendly part of its schedule. They're in the fourth contest of 11 of 13 games at home with the road contests at the Kings on Tuesday and the Vegas Golden Knights on Nov. 14.
Updated November 4, 2018