The Anaheim Ducks will look to snap a six-game winless streak on Sunday afternoon when they host the Montreal Canadiens in what could be a historic afternoon in Anaheim, Calif.
Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf needs just one point to break Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne’s franchise scoring record of 988 points. The 36-year-old Getzlaf, the 19th overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft who helped lead the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup championship, tied Selanne’s mark with an assist on a Troy Terry goal in Friday afternoon’s 5-4 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
“He’s an incredible leader, and I think he’ll just take it right in stride,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said of Getzlaf breaking the record. “I don’t think it will hit home to him what that really means until years after he’s done playing. For him, I think it’s just another point. That’s the way he is. … (Getzlaf) isn’t worried about those points. He’s worried about the points in the standings.”
Despite the winless streak, Anaheim enters Sunday’s contest in a three-way tie with Vancouver and Seattle for fifth place in the Pacific Division. And the Ducks earned points in their last two games against Buffalo and Vegas after rallying from three-goal deficits.
Anaheim scored three times in the span of 5:11 in the third period against the Golden Knights to tie it, 4-4, before eventually losing in the fourth round of the shootout on a goal by Evgenii Dadonov. A night earlier, the Ducks overcame a 3-0 deficit before losing to the Sabres, 4-3, on a Rasmus Asplund goal at 4:16 of overtime.
“The thing you have to love about the group is they don’t quit,” Eakins said after Friday’s contest. “We won’t quit, and that’s encouraging. The other thing that is encouraging is that you’re down in a game like that and you (still) get a point. We didn’t lose the game; we lost the shootout.”
Montreal, which lost to Tampa Bay in last season’s Stanley Cup Final, will be trying to bounce back from a lethargic 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon. The Habs enter the final game of a four-game western road trip that started with a 5-1 loss at Seattle followed by a 4-0 shutout victory at San Jose.
The Habs led 1-0 after the first period on a Josh Anderson goal but surrendered five straight goals to the Kings after that, including three on the power play, before Ben Chiarot closed out the scoring with 2:20 left.
The Canadiens, in last place in the Atlantic Division with just four points after nine games, held a 15-minute players-only meeting after the loss.
“It takes a certain level of compete and a certain level of work to win in this league every night, and right now we’re not willing to give that on a consistent basis,” Chiarot said. “Our results show that.”
Tyler Toffoli, the subject of a special video tribute in his first game against the Kings at Staples Center since being traded to Vancouver in February of 2020, agreed.
“It was really nice,” Toffoli said of the tribute. “It’s just unfortunate it was washed away by a bad effort.
“We have to be accountable,” Toffoli added. “We have to find ways to man up with ourselves and with each other and be grownups in the locker room and understand that, if you’re not playing well, you need to figure it out.”
–Field Level Media