A day after one of their most inspiring efforts of the season, the Ducks were flat from start to finish in Glendale.
There must have been some magic in the snow, because the Ducks left it all behind in Colorado after coming back to beat the Avalanche 4-2 on Tuesday. They couldn’t score on former teammate Ilya Bryzgalov, who needed only 21 saves to record his league-leading fifth shutout of the season.
Outshot 11-7 and 13-6 in the first two periods, respectively, the Ducks (15-15-7) did a better job controlling the zone in the third period, when they kept the shot count even at 8. But Phoenix’s suffocating defense, combined with some sloppy puck-moving — possibly fatigue-induced — kept the Ducks from scoring the goal needed to spark another comeback.
The recently reliable second line of Bobby Ryan, Saku Koivu and Dan Sexton combined to put one shot on Bryzgalov all night.
On the other end, Jonas Hiller wasn’t as sharp as he was in Denver, stopping 25 of 28 before giving way to Jean-Sebastien Giguere with 8:02 left in the third period. Giguere let in a power-play goal to Robert Lang to provide the final score, the only goal he allowed on four shots.
The Ducks get a couple days off before facing the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday.