Ducks center Andrew Cogliano, right, shoots wide as Kings goalie Jonathan… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
The Ducks are relying on two good days of practice, three days of rest and a return to fundamentals to halt their drought of goals entering Wednesday night's game at Honda Center against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"We had to go back to basics, putting the pucks in the net, getting through traffic, and we hope that addresses the problems we've been having," Ducks wing Bobby Ryan said after practice Tuesday. "Every team at some point has a lull. We hope that was ours and that it's over."
The Ducks (27-10-5) at one point led the NHL by averaging more than three goals a game, but they have scored only one apiece in consecutive losses to Colorado and the Kings. Against the Kings on Saturday at Staples Center, they mustered only 20 shots.
"It just seemed like we played so many days in a row there we didn't get a chance to correct things," Ryan said.
The Ducks last week enjoyed their first two-day break since Feb. 24, only to have strong scoring chances stopped by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Now, they've had three more days off to build up fresher legs.
"It's tougher to get out of a slump when you're playing every day," Ryan said. In practice, he added, "A lot of the guys were excited to get back to doing what we're doing: putting good shots on the net to at least get great rebound chances."
Making it count
Ryan, 23, has 10 goals this season after five consecutive seasons of 30 or more in non-lockout campaigns.
"I'm a bit disheartened by it, a little discouraged," he said.
He expects to be joined by Andrew Cogliano and Saku Koivu on the Ducks' second line Wednesday after sharing first-line time with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at times earlier this season.
"I've worked hard this week to make sure I get a few more chances, and I'm encouraged," Ryan said.
With the Ducks currently positioned as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, Ryan said, "If you score in the playoffs, no one's going to say anything about your regular season. I'm looking forward to pushing that restart in a fresh season."
Columbus arrives at Honda Center after starting April with a 2-1 overtime victory over the Ducks, and then beating Colorado in overtime on Monday.
The Blue Jackets (20-16-7) are positioned ninth in the conference, and are within striking distance of making the playoffs and becoming the Ducks' first-round opponent.
"They come at you in waves and are motivated by being in the playoff hunt," Ryan said, "but I think we'll be helped by playing at home.
"We've been a team all year that doesn't like to lose two in a row like we've done. I'm excited to see how we'll play."
The Ducks Tuesday signed 22-year-old center Antoine Laganiere to a two-year, $925,000 deal.
Laganiere, 6-5, 214 pounds, helped Yale win the
NCAA Division 1 championship with 29 points (15 goals)
in 37 games.
He is eligible for regularseason play but it is unclear
if he'll be added to the roster.
DUCKS VS. COLUMBUS
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Honda Center.
On the air: TV: KDOC; Radio: 830.
Record vs. Blue Jackets: 1-0-1.
Etc.: Center Vinny Prospal leads Columbus in goals and assists, but the team ranks 29th in power-play scoring.