Ducks shutout by Flyers

David W. Unkle

, Last Updated: 12:09 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA—If there was contentment in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room following Friday night’s overtime loss, it was nowhere to be found in Philadelphia where the Anaheim Ducks were shutout for the second consecutive night, falling 3-0 to the Flyers. The solid play in a 1-0 shootout loss to the New York Rangers was replaced by turnovers and heavy legs against a Philadelphia team that was man-handled on home ice two nights earlier. “You look at it and you try and do an analysis of your group…first off our work ethic is strong,” said head coach Randy Carlyle. “It’s not like we cheating out there, Friday night and tonight were kind of similar in that we had a strong work ethic we just can’t find a way to create offence.” Bereft of scoring over their last six games, the Ducks have but five goals, two coming on a powerplay that has gone 2-for-26 over that stretch. “Even when we have glorious opportunities (Ryan) Getzlaf misses a wide-open net there’s no goalie in it, Corey Perry hits the post at the end on his backhand, those are the things that are coming back to haunt us” Carlyle said. Defenceman Sean O’Donnell also coaxed Flyers’ netminder Martin Biron out of the crease in the third period but couldn’t lift a backhanded over his outstretched pads. “We’re kind of in the same predicament that we were at the beginning of the year,” said Ducks’ captain Chris Pronger. “We make a couple of mistakes in the course of a game and it ends up in the back of our net…we’re making little mistakes at crucial times that cost us goals. One such mistake was a face-off in the Ducks’ end won by Philadelphia’s Mike Richards that ended up in the net on a nice deflection by Mike Knuble with 10 seconds remaining in the second period. “We showed some raggedness at the end of the second period and we started turning the puck over at our blue line,” said Carlyle. “I think we had four turnovers that started on the penalty-killing and we just didn’t get the puck out and that’s critical because they hemmed us in on the powerplay and the backbreaker was that goal … that really was the turning point for us. In the third period we gave up a two-on-one and Knuble makes a great shot inside the post.” That goal gave Knuble the natural hat trick and closed the door on any possibility of an Anaheim victory. “We came out of the All-Star break and went into Minnesota and maybe played the worst game of the bunch there,” said defenceman Scott Niedermayer who along with Pronger downplayed any possibility of a hangover-effect. “Maybe we didn’t deserve to win tonight but we could’ve had a little more activity down at their end of the ice,” said Niedermayer. who finished with three of the team’s 27 shots on net. Add in the efforts of Francois Beauchemin and Pronger and 14 of the team’s 27 shots against Biron came from the defence. All of which begs the question as to when Teemu Selanne will see his first action of the year. “You always hope that a player of that level can come in and make a contribution but it’s unfair to put that pressure on him,” said Carlyle when asked if Selanne is a panacea for the Ducks’ lack of scoring. “We have other people that can provide us with offence but our group has to find a way to get it done and he’ll be part of that group.” NHL All-Stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each have a goal and an assist in their last six games and are two of the most-likely sources to jumpstart the Ducks. “We’re in the business to win (hockey games) and we’re not winning right now,” said Carlyle. David Unkle can be reached at: topcatsports@canoemail.com

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