Corey Perry wanted to carry the Ducks on his shoulders in the Stanley Cup playoffs. At least that was his plan leading into the first-round series against Detroit.
Four games later, Perry has produced just one assist and the Ducks now are in a best-of-three fight against the Red Wings, with Game 5 on Wednesday night at Honda Center.
"Obviously, it's not the start that I wanted, we're tied 2-2," Perry said. "Hopefully, I can get it going and we'll take things from there."
Perry, who signed an eight-year, $69-million extension with the Ducks in March and finished the regular season with 15 goals and 21 assists, had a few good scoring opportunities in Monday's 3-2 overtime loss at Detroit in Game 4.
Set up on a nice pass from David Steckel, Perry missed an open net with 7:57 remaining in the second period – the Ducks leading 1-0 at the time – and also couldn't convert one-on-one against Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard in the third period.
"If I had answers, I'd tell you, and if they went in, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Perry said. "Two good chances, I missed the net and he made a save."
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday at practice he has confidence in the former league MVP's ability to produce.
"If you know Corey Perry and you know how competitive he is, I'm sure he is pressing too much," Boudreau said. "He's just got to do what comes natural to him. When you're getting chances, you know things are going OK.
"He had three really good chances and I would venture to guess that if he gets three good chances again, he'll put at least two of them in."
Boudreau wouldn't name names, but he was irked by the effort of some Ducks in Game 4, using the words "passengers" after the overtime loss.
So how did Boudreau address the slipping players Tuesday? "Just chat with them," he said. "And then kick them in the rear."
Boudreau said the team was quiet on its flight home from Detroit on Tuesday morning after being awake until 2 a.m.
"When you lose, it's like death," Boudreau said. "We're trying not to get too high or low. … I'm sure both teams are saying after four games, it could've gone either way."
Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock spoke to that issue with Detroit reporters Tuesday.
"There's huge highs and there's huge lows," he said. "That's just the playoffs every year. One minute you think, 'Oh my god, we'll never win.' And the next minute you just won and you think you're going to win the series."
Defenseman Toni Lydman, injured in a Game 3 hit by Detroit's Justin Abdelkader, is not expected to play in Game 5. Boudreau declined to provide an assessment on the condition of Lydman, who was suffering from headaches and a sore neck after the incident.
Abdelkader was suspended two games.
Beyond the home crowd Wednesday and perhaps in a Game 7, Boudreau was hard-pressed to identify a great edge his team has over Detroit.
"It's a pretty tight series," Boudreau said, praising Howard and Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk. "Home ice allows us to change last and to get the matchups that you'd like to do, but the matchups only work if you're playing well and you get a lead."
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said it's important to remain on an "even keel," with the home-ice advantage in hand.
"We're far from frustrated, this is playoff hockey, the best time of the year," Getzlaf said. "We always knew it was going to be a long series; we're playing a good hockey team over there.
"One goal the other way, everyone's happy ... in here. You've got to find a way to contribute and dig in."
Times staff writer Lisa Dillman contributed to this report.