Frozen would be a good way to describe the Anaheim Ducks’ performance in Monday’s 8-1 loss to the Sharks in San Jose. “Frozen Out” may well be the Orange County team’s epitaph for the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs first round.
After losing the first two games at home, the Ducks sorely needed a win in the Bay Area to keep their hopes alive. But instead of rallying on the road, they became road kill and may have to hit the highway after Game Five on Wednesday.
OK, enough metaphors. The Ducks played substandard ice hockey after staying even in the first period.
Rickard Rakell scored the Ducks’ only goal of the night at 13:40 on a power play, but it was all ugly after that. The Sharks hammered home three goals in the second period and lit the red lamp four more times in the final period. Neither starting goalie John Gibson or Ryan Miller could do much to stop the home team from running up the score.
“We started making repeated mistakes and it hurt us,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “We weren’t backing each other up properly. We gave up too many odd-man rushes and they started scoring goals.”
And now the Ducks will need four wins in a row, two of them on the road, to rescue the series.
“You dwell on it tonight,” defenseman John Manson said. “We know what happened. It’s embarrassing. It’s not good enough. Now it’s do or die. If you dwell on a game like this, it gets you nowhere.”