ANAHEIM - Long a bugaboo for the Anaheim Ducks, the second period came up and bit them yet again.
Anaheim gave up three goals in a span of less than six minutes in the middle session on their way to a 4-1 defeat to the visiting Florida Panthers at Honda Center. It was the first home game for the Ducks following a disappointing 2-3-1 road trip, but they had trouble getting anything past goalie James Reimer despite 36 shots on goal. And despite scoring the game's first goal, Anaheim gave up four unanswered to the Panthers.
"Tonight was a night where we could've made a comeback and gotten some points," said Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano, who scored Anaheim's only goal. "The goals they scored were very preventable. We had some good chances and zone time, but the turnovers are the difference right now. If we want to be a good team as we start the stretch run, we need to limit them because those are the difference."
It was the third straight road win for the Panthers, who scored six goals in San Jose on Wednesday and seven in Nashville last Saturday.
After a scoreless first, the Ducks turned the tables on a Florida power play 2:46 into the second, as Cogliano took in a pass behind center Nick Bjugstad and first a bouncing puck through Reimer.
Florida quickly got even when Colton Sceviour wristed a shot from the slot that eluded goalie John Gibson's glove.
The ageless Jaromir Jagr put Florida in front not long after that, pouncing on a bad turnover by Josh Manson near the Anaheim net and stickhandling a bit before burying the puck from just outside the crease. It was the 760th career goal for the 45-year-old Jagr.
"We turned the puck over way too many times," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We fed their offense with our inability to execute with the puck. They turned the game in their favor with us gifting the puck to them."
Florida made it a two-goal lead on an Aaron Ekblad slap shot on the power play that beat Gibson stick side.
The Panthers effectively put the game away with Gibson on the bench for an extra attacker late in the game, as Derek Mackenzie filled the empty net from the red line.
"Mistakes happen in this game," said Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen, who returned to the lineup after missing five games with an injury. "They scored a couple of goals, but overall we played a pretty good game. We just need to keep playing how we're playing and put the puck in the net."
The Ducks play only three home games in the month of February, but they have one of those Sunday, when they'll look to bounce back against the rival Kings.