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Recap: Ducks Can't Climb Out of Early Hole in 4-1 Loss To Winnipeg

by Adam Brady @AdamJBrady /

ANAHEIM - Blame it on the tryptophan or not, but a sluggish start proved too much to overcome for the Ducks in a Black Friday loss to the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

In their annual day-after-Thanksgiving matinee at Honda Center, the Ducks fell behind by two goals in the first five minutes and never recovered in dropping a second straight home game (10-9-3).

"It's all about our preparation as individuals," said Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who had Anaheim's only goal. "We need to make sure we're ready as soon as the puck drops. The first five minutes were not the way we were supposed to be playing. We got ourselves down 2-0 and it was tough to catch up after that."

The Ducks appeared to give up the game's first goal just 34 seconds into the game after a Hampus Lindholm giveaway behind the net led almost directly to Mark Scheifele burying a rebound from the slot. But the Ducks challenged that the Jets were offside prior to the goal, and they won the challenge.

But just seconds after the ensuing faceoff, the Jets scored one that counted courtesy of Nikolaj Ehlers off a Sami Vatanen turnover.

Winnipeg made it 2-0 at 4:59 of the period by cashing in on a second straight power play, as Ehlers beat goalie John Gibson from the left wing circle.

"It looked like we didn't even have our skates on," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We were so slow to react for the first five or six minutes. We were freezing in the moment. We have to shake that off. We were lucky to get the first goal called back because it was offside, but the very next shift they score and then they get a power-play goal. After the 10-minute mark of the first period, we started getting engaged into the game."

The Ducks cut into the lead almost five minutes into the middle frame when Beauchemin snapped a shot from just inside the blue line that sailed through traffic and got by goalie Connor Hellebuyck. It was the first of the year for Beauchemin in his third go-round with Anaheim, but unfortunately it was the last threat from the Ducks.

Video: WPG@ANA: Beauchemin scores on shot from the point

Instead, Winnipeg made it 3-1 on the power play when Bryan Little wristed a shot home through a Mathieu Perreault screen.

They Jets slammed the door with under two minutes left, seconds after Gibson hustled to the bench for an extra attacker, as Kyle Connor filled the empty net.

The Ducks turn right around and play at the rival Kings tomorrow, the start of a six-game road trip that is critical for a banged-up team still missing Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler and others.

"We need to make sure we bring our A-game every night," Beauchemin said. "There won't be any easy ones. It's this time of the year, from now until Christmas, it's going to be a sprint. Lots of games every other day. We have to be mentally ready for that."

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