Thu, 08 Dec 2022

Ducks seek better defense, revenge on streaking Blues

Field Level Media
21 Nov 2022, 10:40 GMT+10

After absorbing a 6-2 beating Saturday night in St. Louis, the Anaheim Ducks will try to regroup for a bounce-back performance in their rematch against the Blues Monday.

The Blues dominated the first two periods in the opener of this two-game set at Enterprise Center while building a 5-1 lead. That propelled them to their sixth straight victory and sent the Ducks reeling to their fifth loss in their last six games.

"We just did not have it," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "We had one player compete in the first period, and that was the goaltender. It wasn't until the third period that we got our (stuff) together. I think that makes us even more angry as a group, that 'why now?' It's basically too late."

Eakins pulled goaltender John Gibson after two periods in favor of Anthony Stolarz. That change sparked a response from the Ducks.

"I think just the first few periods weren't, you know, the competitive level isn't high enough," Ducks center Adam Henrique said. "I think that was just, that was really not X's and O's execution. I think it was bottom line, was just the compete level. They had a higher one than us those first two periods."

This was the 13th time this season that Anaheim allowed four or more goals in a game. The Ducks' 4.33 goals-against average is the second-worst in the NHL.

"Every night in this league is a hard one," Eakins said. "You are never, ever going to get an easy one."

The Blues defeated them despite missing winger Vladimir Tarasenko (illness) and defenseman Colton Parayko (upper body injury).

"At the end of the day, we're missing one of our best goal-scorers and best players on the team," Blues defenseman Torey Krug said. "So for us to put up the numbers we did tonight was obviously very welcomed. But that shows the depth on this team. We don't go just by one guy. It's a group effort, night-in, night-out."

Parayko has resumed skating with the team, so there is a chance he could return for this game.

"He was rolling good (in practice) and we miss him when he's not playing," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "He's a big part of our team."

This six-game St. Louis winning streak came on the heels on a franchise-record eight consecutive regulation losses. The Blues got back to the high side of .500 for the first time since Oct. 26.

"I just think when you're winning it's always fun," said Blues winger Pavel Buchnevich, who had two goals and two assists Saturday. "I don't know how many we win now, six right now? Hopefully we keep going, and it's always fun when you are winning, good mood in the locker room. Everybody like so positive and all the positive emotions there."

After going nine games without scoring a goal, Buchnevich has three goals in this last two games. Jordan Kyrou has two goals and five assists in his last four games and Robert Thomas has two goals and six assists in his last six games.

--Field Level Media

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