|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 7, 2019
Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, Ontario Attendance: 12,617
Amid mounting losses, Ducks, Senators meet again
Things aren't going as bad as they were the last time the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators met, but they haven't gotten much better, either.
Each team has lost five in a row heading into their second meeting of the season on Thursday night in Ottawa. The last time they met, on Jan. 9 in Anaheim, each came in riding an eight-game losing streak before the Senators won 2-1 in overtime.
The Ducks went on to lose a franchise-record 12 in a row before straightening out with two consecutive wins. They've gone back to losing, however, and by wide margins. In the past five games, Anaheim has been outscored 27-6.
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told reporters after a 4-1 loss to the Canadiens in Montreal on Tuesday that his players are not only frustrated, but they've lost confidence.
"Trying to do things that are out of character," he said.
Ottawa is coming off a 5-4 loss at to the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Wednesday night. The Senators are 2-7-2 in the second half of back-to-back games this season.
The Senators are last in the Eastern Conference standings and 18 points out of the final playoff spot. Some of their top players have emerged as possible targets with the NHL trade deadline approaching on Feb. 25, but Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said that's not on his mind.
"That's outside the realm of what I have to do," Boucher said. "My job is to focus on the players that are here."
Despite a 2-13-4 record since Dec. 18, the Ducks are just three points out of the second wild card from the Western Conference.
Anaheim has shown it can get hot this season, posting a 5-1-1 record through the first two weeks of the season, and going 11-2-0 from Nov. 21 to Dec. 17 to climb as high as second in the Pacific Division.
Carlyle has been forced to use a variety of lineups throughout the season.
Anaheim has used an NHL-leading 42 skaters, nine more than the Edmonton Oilers, who have needed the second most. Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour and center Adam Henrique have appeared in all 54 games for the Ducks this season, but no other Anaheim player has appeared in more than 50 games.
Jakob Silfverberg, who leads the Ducks with 12 goals, repeated after the more recent loss what many of his teammates have been saying the past six weeks about their approach to each game.
"You've just got to leave it out there," Silfverberg said. "Make sure that everyone is going to take it upon themselves and look yourself in the mirror and see what you can bring to the team to make a difference every night."
The Ducks have struggled to score goals all season, but could usually rely on their defense to keep the score close. That's changed during the current losing streak, as All-Star goalie John Gibson has been pulled in his past three starts, and the defensemen have become unusually careless with the puck.
Silfverberg also said there seems to be a growing confidence issue.
"We've been trying to simplify things to make sure we get the confidence back," he said. "Confidence isn't just something you can go buy in the store and all of a sudden you feel on top again."
--Field Level Media
Updated February 7, 2019
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