Through two periods, the Ducks did a lot of things right. They displayed a strong forecheck, took care of their own zone (for the most part) and held a one-goal lead over a strong Arizona Coyotes team heading into the final 20 minutes of regulation. But, as we've seen all too often through the first half of the 2019-20 season, the Ducks let it slip away.
Within a span of 7:23, the Ducks saw a 2-1 lead turn into a two-goal deficit, and they never recovered in what ended up being a disheartening 4-2 loss at Gila River Arena. They came into the game 11 points behind the second-place Coyotes in the Pacific Division. They've dropped two in a row in regulation and haven't won in their past three. With the loss, their record fell to 16-20-5.
"You need to have a little bit more of a complete game," said Ducks defenseman Josh Manson, who finished with two hits and two blocked shots in 21:29 TOI. "Couple turnovers that ended up in the back of the net. Every losing game is an opportunity to learn. There were some good things we did tonight, but we need to be more consistent."
The meltdown started just 26 seconds into the third when Christian Dvorak pounced on a Ducks turnover to tie the game at two goals apiece. Then, within a span of 62 seconds, Brad Richardson and Carl Soderberg tacked on goals to flip the game upside down. What was most troubling was the way in which Arizona scored those goals. Richardson seemed to have all the time in the world after Christian Fischer initially walked in and muffed a scoring attempt. Then, the Ducks failed to tie up Soderberg in front of the net, and the big forward was able to get a stick on Clayton Keller's shot for a deflection.
Anaheim's goal scorers were Jakob Silfverberg and Max Jones.
After the Coyotes opened the scoring at the 5:32 mark of the opening frame with Lawson Crouse's eighth goal of the season, the Ducks responded with just 32 seconds left in the period when Silfverberg buried a 2-on-1 with Isac Lundestrom for his team-leading 15th goal of the season.
Video: ANA@ARI: Silfverberg nets return pass from Lundestrom
The Ducks struck again early in the second period when Jones crashed the crease and laid his stick flat on the ice to deflect Michael Del Zotto's pass across the stripe less than three minutes in. It was Jones' fourth goal of the season and his first since Nov. 21 at Florida.
Video: ANA@ARI: Jones redirects Del Zotto's feed into net
John Gibson kept the Ducks close for as long as he could. He robbed Fischer late in the first period when he stretched out to make a remarkable left-pad stop on a 2-0 rush. Then, he denied Dvorak on a breakaway attempt shortly after, but a lack of support in front of him resulted in his 16th loss of the season (12-16-3). Gibson finished with 30 saves.
Video: ANA@ARI: Gibson makes 2-on-0 save against Fischer
Antti Raanta improved to 8-8-2 with a 27-save effort. The veteran netminder made nine saves in the third to seal the win, Arizona's 23rd of the season (23-16-4).
The Ducks won't play again until Sunday when they host the Nashville Predators at Honda Center.