LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks have suffered back-to-back regulation losses for the first time this season and will next face the only team they failed to beat during their Stanley Cup-winning campaign.
The Anaheim Ducks, though, will also be seeking to avoid a third straight defeat as they visit Chicago on Friday night.
Chicago (20-6-4) has seen its momentum stall since winning the final six of its seven consecutive road games. The Blackhawks fell 4-3 to Dallas in its return to the United Center on Tuesday then suffered another 4-3 defeat in Minnesota on Thursday.
Chicago rallied from a two-goal deficit to take a lead over the Wild with 13:25 remaining but allowed two goals in the final six minutes, including the tiebreaker with 1:48 to go.
“Like the last game, we thought we had control and let it slip. It’s frustrating to give up points like we have the last couple games,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “It’s pretty simple. We need to be better.”
Chicago had a season-low 19 shots – four in the final period – and let Minnesota convert two of its three power-play chances. The Blackhawks have allowed four goals in their last 10 penalty kills.
“It’s been probably the sorest issue right now with our team,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
The Ducks, meanwhile, have boasted one of the league’s most effective power-play units of late, converting eight of its last 31 opportunities. They scored one of those goals Tuesday against Los Angeles but suffered a 3-2 shootout defeat.
Corey Perry scored his third goal in as many contests and Ryan Getzlaf extended his point streak to 11 games, but they were among the nine Ducks players who failed to solve Martin Jones in the shootout.
“When you have the opportunity on your stick, whether you deserve to win the game or not, you’ve got to put it away,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That killer instinct has been eluding us for a little bit now. We’ve got to find it somewhere.”
Anaheim (18-7-5) will try to avoid its ninth loss in 12 games and seventh in eight road contests by adding to a four-game win streak over Chicago. The Ducks earned three of those wins last season and two at the United Center.
“It won’t be an easy game because we had some success against them last year,” Boudreau said. “They are Stanley Cup champions and have the fewest losses in the league (this season).”
The Blackhawks haven’t dropped three straight regular-season games since Feb. 23-26, 2012, with all of those defeats coming in regulation, including one to Anaheim to finish off that skid.
That win also started the Ducks’ current streak against Chicago, but Anaheim has won in a shootout and by one goal in its last two visits to the United Center. The Ducks needed late third-period goals to help them prevail in both of those matchups and scored three times in the final six minutes in a 4-2 victory in Anaheim on March 20.
Getzlaf has two goals and eight assists in his last eight games against Chicago. He has eight goals and eight assists during his streak.
Teemu Selanne has five goals and three assists in his past seven meetings with the Blackhawks.