Try as they might, a comeback was not in the books tonight.
Despite Chris Wagner's first career two-goal performance and a lone goal from Jakob Silfverberg, the Ducks couldn't match Chicago's offense in a 7-3 defeat to the Blackhawks at the United Center on Monday. John Gibson stopped 18-of-22 shots in 22:03 before he was relieved by Ryan Miller, who went the rest of the way.
The night belonged to Chicago's 19-year-old rookie forward Alex DeBrincat, who recorded his first career hat trick as part of a four-point performance. The former second-round pick of the 2016 NHL Draft scored once in the first period and twice more in the second period to push the Blackhawks to their fourth win in the past five games. Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, Artem Anisimov and Nick Schmaltz also scored for Chicago, while Corey Crawford turned aside 25 shots for his 11th win of the season.
"We allowed them to play their give-and-go game," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "We really didn't get involved in the game physically at all. They just moved the puck around us. We got frustrated and received the game."
Chicago opened the scoring at the 10:57 mark of the first period when Sharp found space between Gibson's right shoulder and the nearside post for his third goal in 23 games this season. Sharp was denied earlier in the period when Gibson robbed him with a stellar glove save. The goal was a long time coming for the veteran winger, who went 16 games without one.
The Blackhawks increased their lead to 2-0 when DeBrincat was uncovered at the right faceoff dot. After finding a soft area to the left of Gibson, the former 65-goal scorer with the OHL's Erie Otters last season buried Schmaltz' cross-ice feed for his eighth goal of the 2017-18 campaign. Listed at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, DeBrincat led the OHL with 127 points and a +60 rating last season. In three seasons with the Otters, DeBrincat recorded 332 points (167g/165a).
Saad made it 3-0 with 1:49 remaining in the first period when he lifted Derek Grant's stick for the puck, curled back into the slot and beat Gibson over the blocker. It was Saad's ninth goal of the season in his second stint with the Blackhawks after spending the past two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Saad was re-acquired by the Blackhawks on June 23 along with goaltender Anton Forsberg and a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft for Artemi Panarin, Tyler Motte and Chicago's sixth-round selection (170th overall) in 2017.
Anisimov pushed the Blackhawks' lead to 4-0 at the 4:15 mark of the second period with his team-leading 11th goal of the season, this one coming on the power play. It gave the 29-year-old center eight goals through 11 games this month, which included his first career hat trick on November 15 vs. the New York Rangers.
The Ducks responded 1:59 later when Silfverberg's attempted pass deflected off Brent Seabrook's stick and into the top corner to give Anaheim its first goal of the game. Silfverberg ended a six-game goal-less streak with his sixth tally of the season.
Video: ANA@CHI: Silfverberg scores off friendly deflection
DeBrincat scored his second goal of the game to give the Blackhawks a 5-1 lead at the 7:49 mark of the middle frame for his second career multi-goal performance. The goal came on Miller, who entered the game during the TV timeout.
The second-period scoring outburst continued, but this time it was Anaheim that found success. Wagner's wrist shot in the high slot snuck through the five-hole for his third goal and 10th point of the season. The 26-year-old center came off a career-best 22:06 TOI in Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss in LA.
Video: ANA@CHI: Wagner goes five-hole to beat Crawford
DeBrincat's memorable night reached new heights late in the second period when he buried a 2-on-1 rush with Patrick Kane for his first career hat trick. His goal came seconds after the Ducks had a 2-on-1 rush of their own, but Josh Manson's pass was intercepted by Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
The Ducks capitalized on the power play 1:33 into the third period when Wagner banged home a loose puck for his first career multi-goal game, and the first of his career with the man advantage.
Video: ANA@CHI: Wagner pots second goal on the power play
Chicago re-gained its four-goal cushion at the 5:48 mark when Schmaltz buried Kane's saucer pass for his fourth goal and 12th point of the season. The goal gave Schmaltz his second three-point performance in the past five games.
Brandon Montour left the game in the third period after getting hit along the glass by Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels. "He was taking his skates off when I walked in [after the game]," said Carlyle. "He was functioning well, so I don't think there is anything too major."
Anaheim's six-game road trip continues Wednesday evening against the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues.