It may end up being a case of “too little, too late” for the Ducks, but beating the two best teams in the Western Conference in back-to-back games at least serves as a reminder of their potential.
Three days after beating the conference-leading San Jose Sharks, they handed the second-place Chicago Blackhawks a 4-2 loss minus their best player, Ryan Getzlaf, who missed the game with inflammation in his left ankle.
Ryan Carter filled Getzlaf’s spot and won a faceoff that led directly to the game’s first goal, by Bobby Ryan at 4:08 of the first period.
Todd Marchant and Saku Koivu also scored, and Ryan added an empty netter in the final minute – his 30th and 31st goals of the season coming on his 23rd birthday. Jonas Hiller withstood a 41-shot barrage for the victory. Corey Perry added two assists.
With 13 games remaining, the Ducks trail the Detroit Red Wings by eight points for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.