SAN JOSE -- There are many ways to describe Anaheim's 8-1 loss last night in Game 3. Andrew Cogliano called it "embarrassing." Francois Beauchemin said it was "tough to digest," and head coach Randy Carlyle said he was "very disappointed" with how his players reacted as the game went on.
Athletes can't afford to dwell on losses for very long. So today, when the Ducks got together for practice at SAP Center, their focus shifted on the task at hand - winning tomorrow.
The 'one-game-at-a-time approach' could not be truer, as the Ducks have no choice but to win out the remainder of this series. It will take four consecutive wins in this case, but they can't force a Game 5 without winning Game 4. One thing is certain - Game 3 is history.
"You can't think about that game anymore," said defenseman Hampus Lindholm. "That's in the past now. We just have to go out there for the fourth game. It's going to be a do-or-die game for us. We're going to compete as hard as we can."
The goals Anaheim gave up last night where uncharacteristic. "Rush goals," as head coach Randy Carlyle put it, were the result of miscues. Goals are generally scored in the trenches during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not too often are they the result of odd-man rushes. The Ducks were guilty of giving up far too many last night and the Sharks made them pay.
"Anyone looks fast on two-on-ones," said Cogliano, when asked about San Jose's skating game. "Yeah, they're a good-skating team. They push the pace, but I'd look pretty fast going down the ice with odd-man rushes all night, too. That is the difference."
In other words, it is time for the Ducks to tighten up their game and play as a team again. "We were on the forecheck last night," Cogliano said. "We had good zone time. We got in on the forecheck. When you continuously give up easy plays up the ice, with two-on-ones and odd-man breaks, that is when a team really looks like they're skating above and beyond you. It's more about the easy breakdowns we're giving that are leading to goals."
Potential Game 5 Start Time
If the Ducks force a Game 5 on Friday night in Anaheim, the start time will be 7:30 p.m. PT, the NHL announced today. In the U.S., the game would be televised on USA. In Canada, the game would be on Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Local television coverage has yet to be announced.