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Ducks' offense needs a jump-start before the playoffs

Anaheim has scored five goals in the last four games, and there are only four more games until the postseason.

April 20, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Ducks right winger Bobby Ryan celebrates after Teemu Selanne's game-winning goal against the Blackhawks last month. Anaheim is hoping to spark some more offensive magic as the season moves toward the playoffs.
Ducks right winger Bobby Ryan celebrates after Teemu Selanne's game-winning… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

CALGARY, Canada -- For the Ducks, their current offensive drought has permeated the lineup at precisely the wrong time.

With four games remaining on the schedule — starting Sunday night against the Oilers at Edmonton — the Ducks have seven days remaining in the regular season to engineer a course correction.

They've scored five goals in their last four games, and there are some other numbers to ponder, in a larger sense.

For example: Bobby Ryan's offensive creativity has gone missing. The forward has one goal in the last 15 games. His linemate, Corey Perry went four games without scoring and had only one goal in the last seven games before scoring with 3:41 remaining in Friday's 3-1 loss to the Flames.

Additionally, Andrew Cogliano has not scored in six games, Saku Koivu's last goal was March 16 at St. Louis, a goal-less stretch of 17 games, and Daniel Winnik, who had five goals in the first four games of the season, has scored once in the next 40 games.

"There's still a lot to play for and if you think you can just turn it on — we've all seen it long enough, and been around the game long enough that it doesn't just happen," defenseman Sheldon Souray said in the dressing room after Friday's game. "You just don't flick a switch and you're the team you were in February.

"We have to get in the mind-set that our playoffs have started and get our game sharpened up and dialed in because the way we're playing right now, we're not going to be playing long."

The sense of urgency did surface, eventually, against the Flames.

"We've seen it when we're down 2-0," Souray said. "It's too late. If we play like we did in the last 10 minutes … well, we'll play with a lead. That's the way we play and most nights we play with a lead and it's a completely different game.

"That's what we were doing when we were having success, playing like that for 60 minutes. Everybody just continuing to go, to keep pressure on and to play hard. We've just gotten away from that. It's not just one guy, it's right down the lineup."

Fowler returns

Defenseman Cam Fowler, who missed two games with an upper-body injury, was back in action against the Flames and played nearly 22 minutes. It was his most ice time since he logged 22:25 at San Jose on March 27.

"I felt OK," he said. "Under the circumstances, trying to get my legs under me and just contribute to the team the best I can, and work hard. Everything felt pretty strong."

Ducks Sunday

At Edmonton

When: 5:30 p.m. PDT.

Where: Rexall Place.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.

Record vs. Oilers 1-0.

Update: The slumping Ducks, trying to shake things up, stayed off the ice Saturday, canceling a previously scheduled practice in Edmonton and had a team meeting. Anaheim also plays at Edmonton on Monday, a strange byproduct of the compressed schedule.

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