Ducks shoot for a win in home test vs. Panthers

( – Wins have been hard to come by lately for the Anaheim
Ducks, but the club will try to extend its point streak to eight games Sunday
with a victory against the visiting Florida Panthers.

Anaheim has lost four of its last five games, but has earned a point in each
of the losses over that span and enters Sunday with a 3-0-4 mark in its last
seven outings.

The Ducks’ last two tilts were against the rival Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim
earned a split with the reigning Stanley Cup champions, notching a 6-5
shootout win at home on Wednesday before losing Saturday’s test in L.A. in

Anaheim led the Kings 2-1 after 40 minutes, but L.A. answered with two power-
play goals to grab a 3-2 OT victory. Anze Kopitar tallied on the power play
midway through the third to even the score and Jarret Stoll scored on the man
advantage at 2:19 of the extra session. The Kings also tallied a short-handed
goal in the second period, as it dominated the special teams’ battle on

The Kings went on the man advantage 23 seconds into the extra session when
Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm was called for hooking. As the power play
was winding down, Justin Williams led a rush down the left wing and dished out
front to Stoll, who slid the puck between the pads of Frederik Andersen.

Ryan Kesler and Emerson Etem scored for Anaheim, while Andersen made 34 saves
in a losing effort.

“Just a couple of unlucky breaks tonight,” said Kesler. “It’s going to happen
over the course of 82 games. I thought we battled hard and competed.”

The Panthers, meanwhile, lost for the fourth time in five games on Friday,
dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the visiting New York Islanders.

Florida did well to earn a point from the Isles, who held a 3-1 lead in the
early stages of the third period. Brian Campbell made it a one-goal game with
a power-play tally and rookie Aaron Ekblad notched the equalizer with just
2:35 remaining in regulation.

The Panthers also outshot New York by a 9-2 margin in overtime, but couldn’t
score in the extra session and wound up losing thanks to Kyle Okposo’s
decisive goal in the shootout.

The second New York shooter, Okposo deked and slipped the puck past Roberto
Luongo. Jaroslav Halak then turned away bids from Jussi Jokinen and Brad Boyes
to secure the extra point.

Luongo stopped 31 shots for Florida, while Jimmy Hayes added a goal and assist
in the loss.

“We showed a lot of character being down two goals late and sticking with it,”
said Luongo. “It was a huge comeback for us but I have to find a way to make
saves in the shootout. It’s not acceptable to let in two there.”

Florida will try to halt a three-game road losing streak tonight when it opens
a four-game swing. The Panthers last earned a road victory on Oct. 21 in
Colorado and is 2-1-4 as the guest this season.

Anaheim has won four of the past five meetings in this series and the Panthers
have lost three of four in Orange County.