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Ducks must avoid downward spiral after most recent win over Chicago

Anaheim is 3-0 against the Blackhawks this season after winning Friday, but the Ducks lost four in a row after their previous win against Chicago.

March 30, 2013|By Lisa Dillman
  • Daniel Winnik, left, battles Chicago's Dave Bolland for the puck during the Ducks' 2-1 victory Friday night.
Daniel Winnik, left, battles Chicago's Dave Bolland for the puck… (Paul Beaty / Associated…)

Now, it's all about avoiding the Chicago Letdown.

After their last victory against the Blackhawks, the Ducks promptly went into an emotional tailspin, losing their next four games, dotted with poor performances in the first period. They finally got a correction with a significant win against the Blackhawks in Chicago on Friday night.

Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller downplayed the meaning of being 3-0 against the Blackhawks. The Ducks won, 2-1, on Friday in a game crackling with playoff-type intensity.

"It might mean something if we play them in the playoffs at some point, but that's still too far ahead, at least for me," Hiller said. "I'm more worried about the next few games. Definitely it's nice to get a win here and have a good feeling for the next few games coming up."

The Ducks face the resurgent Blue Jackets on Sunday at Columbus, and the most recent signs of relative progress need to be reinforced with 14 games remaining. Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said they were not "out of the woods" by any stretch.

"It means that we can play against the best when we're on top of our game and be competitive," he said. "That's what I get out of it. We haven't proven ourselves against some of the other top teams on a consistent basis. But maybe Chicago matches up well with us, but let's not forget, they don't have [Patrick] Sharp and [Marian] Hossa in the lineup."

Ducks today


When: 3 p.m.

Where: Nationwide Arena.

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

Record vs. Blue Jackets: 1-0.

Etc.: Columbus has pulled itself back into the playoff race with an outstanding run in March, going 9-2-4.

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