The Ducks can take solace in the fact that, for the second straight game, it was easier to pare down their problems to a mere handful.
Problem number one Friday was a forward for the Atlanta Thrashers named Anthony Stewart, who nearly doubled his career goal total with a hat trick in the Thrashers’ shootout win. Stewart, who entered the game with four goals in his first 108 NHL games, scored on a breakaway 17 seconds into the opening period, then added two power-play goals in the third period to bring Atlanta back from a 4-2 deficit.
In the shootout, Nigel Dawes scored on Jonas Hiller in the fourth round, the only shootout goal for either team.
“We’re upset with losing the point tonight,” head coach Randy Carlyle said. “That is probably as emotional as I have been in losing a shootout because there were mental mistakes that we made that cost us the point, not their effort. They worked and tried. Some nights shootouts go for you, some nights they don’t.”
Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Ryan Getzlaf and Toni Lydman – playing his first game of the season – scored for the Ducks. Hiller had 29 saves, and Selanne and Perry each had a pair of assists.