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The Anaheim Ducks are on the brink of their longest losing streak since the team was still deemed "mighty" and Randy Carlyle was a first-year coach.
Carlyle is hoping a team meeting and a positive attitude can help the Ducks snap their six-game slide when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
Anaheim (5-7-3) is 1-6-3 in its last 10 games and at the bottom of the Pacific Division after losing six in a row, including a 4-2 defeat to Nashville on Wednesday.
"It's hard. We're letting each other down," said center Ryan Getzlaf, who has one point during the slide. "The little mistakes we're making are costing us. The last few games we were gripping the sticks pretty tight and trying to do a few more things than we need to. I thought we did a better job of staying within our system (Wednesday), but we had a few mental breakdowns, and it cost us."
Anaheim hasn't endured a longer skid since dropping eight in a row Nov. 3-20, 2005, when the team was known as the Mighty Ducks in Carlyle's first season behind the bench.
In an effort to end the current slide, during which the Ducks have been outscored 22-8 and gotten shut out twice, Carlyle held a team meeting Thursday.
"The one thing we try to do is not focus on the result now. The result is of most importance, but it's the process," he said. "If we continually focus on the result then there's a negative, so we're trying to be as positive as we possibly can and say to look at the things that are effecting the outcome; that's the process.
"Things you have to do and things we're not doing well enough to give ourselves the best chance for success."
One area of concern is in net, as Jonas Hiller is 1-5-3 with a 3.54 goals-against average and .888 save percentage in his last nine games. Backup Dan Ellis lost his only start during the losing streak Oct. 30, making 18 saves in a 3-1 loss at league-worst Columbus.
Carlyle may opt to turn to Hiller again since he's posted a 2.22 GAA while winning all four of his home starts against the Canucks (8-7-1).
Veteran Ducks winger Teemu Selanne doesn't have a point in his last three games. He hasn't endured a longer drought since going five games without a point March 6-17, 2010.
Selanne has nine goals and seven assists in his last 10 meetings with Vancouver, including five points last season as the team's split four matchups.
The Canucks are trying to conclude a six-game road trip with a third consecutive victory and prove they've shaken off their supposed Stanley Cup finals hangover. They improved to 3-2-0 on their jaunt after beating Los Angeles 3-2 on Thursday, and the team appears to be bonding away from home.
"Sometimes you need a little quality time together at the start of the year," said Roberto Luongo, who made 28 saves against the Kings. "We're a good team, we know that. It's just a matter of getting it together, executing on the ice and working hard. We didn't win the Presidents' Trophy last year for nothing."
The power play has helped key Vancouver's resurgence. The Canucks are 7 for 12 with the man advantage over their last two games, and 12 for 31 while winning four of six.
Daniel Sedin has five points in the last two games - three coming on the power play - to increase his season total to a team-high 20. The left wing has eight goals and 10 assists in his last 10 games against Anaheim.
|Apr 03 '12||ANA 4 at VAN 5 - SO||A. Edler|
|Jan 15 '12||ANA 4 at VAN 2||J. Blake|
|Dec 29 '11||VAN 5 at ANA 2||M. Raymond|
|Nov 11 '11||VAN 3 at ANA 4||P. Holland|