Ducks Radio Analyst
FARMERS BRANCH, Texas – In the wake of Saturday night’s heartbreaking 5-4 loss at Detroit, the Ducks began picking themselves up with a late-afternoon practice Sunday in suburban Dallas.
The workout included plenty of skating drills.
“I just think we needed to be sharper,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, looking back at Saturday’s missed opportunity.
The Ducks led 3-1 in the second period and 4-3 after Teemu Selanne
’s 610th career goal 8:32 into the third, but the Red Wings capped a dramatic comeback when Pavel Datsyuk scored the game-winning goal with 11.4 seconds left.
“I think in situations when we’re not as sharp as we need, sometimes you have to get snapped to attention a little bit,” Carlyle said. “A little bit of extra work in that area, conditioning, never really hurt. Hopefully, that has the desired effect.”
The Ducks have another day to get ready for Tuesday night’s matchup with the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. A victory would enable the Ducks to complete a demanding four-game road trip with a break-even, 2-2 record.
Sunday’s practice featured a 45-minute skate for everyone, though players worked in shifts much of that time, and then an additional 15 minutes for about half the team, a group consisting of younger players.
“We have two days off. Practice was at 3 o’clock. It wasn’t a no-pucks practice,” Carlyle said. “It was a little bit of an extra skate at the end, to help people sharpen up. I don’t deem it as punishment. We tried to incorporate a little bit of fun because they were all pretty down from the way the game turned last night.
“We just felt it was the best way to approach the day and preparing our team for Dallas.”
Disappointing as Saturday night was, the Ducks have no realistic choice but to forget about it and move forward.
“I just think you have to flush it,” Carlyle said. “You do an analysis of where we made mistakes. We do that continually. We’ve done that on the plane last night. Again this morning, we did it. There are some areas we can definitely can get better in. Our team can play to a higher level than what it did.
“We were pretty good in some of the situations last night, and then we let it get away.”
Detroit, of course, features a high-powered offense with plenty of talent. Ducks-killer Henrik Zetterberg led the Red Wings with two goals and two assists, helping offset the other Ducks goals from Bobby Ryan
, Ryan Carter and defenseman Danny Syvret.
“You always give the opposition credit,” Carlyle said. “They won the hockey game. They did what they had to do to get the two points – if they score with one second, 10 seconds or 10 minutes left. They turned the game up and we didn’t react very well.
“We made some critical errors with the puck, specifically with turnovers. Those are the kinds of things that are correctable, and we’ll continue to push for correction in those areas.”
The Ducks will face the Stars without right wing Dan Sexton
, who suffered a broken nose when hit in the face by an errant puck Saturday night. Medical reports are that Sexton suffered no additional damage.
“Then we’ll see what the prognosis and the time frame is,” Carlyle said.
Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler
, meanwhile, did not practice Sunday. He has missed the past three games because of a broken nose and a stiff neck suffered a week earlier in a 3-2 victory over visiting Phoenix.
“He has to continue to show improvement,” Carlyle said. “He’s kind of been in a flat period. We were thinking he would be available to us in the first game of the trip. We’re kind of surprised by it.”