(SportsNetwork.com) – The Anaheim Ducks will try to avoid their longest losing
streak in nearly three months when they continue a road trip with Tuesday’s
battle against the Florida Panthers.
Anaheim has lost consecutive games since beating Nashville to begin a five-
game swing. The Ducks, who hold a double-digit lead atop the Pacific Division,
haven’t dropped three in a row since an 0-1-2 slide from Nov. 15-18.
The Ducks fell in a shootout decision to Washington on Friday and then lost
Sunday in Tampa by a 5-3 count. Making matters worse, Anaheim goaltender
Frederik Andersen was forced to leave Sunday’s game with a head injury after
the net fell on top of him in the third period.
Andersen is considered day-to-day, but if he can’t start tonight the Ducks
will likely turn to backup Ilya Bryzgalov as the starter. If Andersen is
unable to even suit up as the backup then Anaheim may have to recall John
Gibson from Norfolk of the American Hockey League.
The Lightning blitzed Anaheim with three first-period goals and held on for
Andersen allowed all five Lightning goals on 22 shots before exiting the game
just over 10 minutes into the third period.
Ryan Getzlaf was credited with his 200th NHL goal, and Sami Vatanen and Eric
Brewer also scored for Anaheim, which fell to 1-1-1 on a road trip that ends
Thursday in Carolina.
“We just have to forget about this one and move on,” said Ducks forward Nate
Thompson. “We still have two more games left on this road trip. We just need
to keep going from here.”
Hampus Lindholm suffered a lower-body injury in the setback and the Ducks
forward questionable for tonight.
Anaheim is 12 points ahead of Calgary and San Jose for first place in the
Pacific Division and is one point behind Nashville for the top spot in the
Western Conference and NHL standings.
Florida, meanwhile, finds itself six points out of a postseason berth in the
East. The club hopes to bounce back tonight after having a two-game winning
streak snapped with Sunday’s shootout loss against the visiting Predators.
Filip Forsberg scored the decisive shootout goal after tying the game late in
regulation, capping Nashville’s 3-2 comeback victory.
Tomas Fleischmann and Aaron Ekblad had second-period goals for the Panthers,
who jumped out to a 2-0 lead before allowing the Preds to storm back with a
pair of power-play goals in the third.
Roberto Luongo stopped 23 shots in defeat.
“We all want to get that playoff spot,” Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant
said. “I thought we competed and deserved to get two points.”
Florida’s only playoff appearance over the last 13 seasons came in the spring
of 2012 when it lost in the opening round to New Jersey.
The Panthers are 11-8-5 as the host this season and are capping a three-game
Florida halted a three-game home losing streak in the series with the Ducks
when it posted a 3-2 win on Nov. 12, 2013. The Panthers have claimed two of
the past three meetings overall and notched a 6-2 blowout win when they
visited Anaheim on Nov. 16.