ANAHEIM -- While the Ducks have trudged through the most prolonged slump of their season, perhaps no game has been more frustrating than the one they played tonight.
Anaheim's 4-0 defeat to the Edmonton Oilers at Honda Center was the eighth loss in a row, one in which the Ducks were unable to conjure the comeback magic they've pulled off a few times against Edmonton in the recent past.
"When you're in a funk and in frustration mode, it's the hardest thing in the world when you work, work, work and you don't get results, and they score," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "That's how it felt tonight. We were working our tails off trying to get opportunities, and the one opportunity they get, they score. It's something we have to get over. Get over that hurdle."
The Ducks, who have been plagued by injuries for most of the season, got Cam Fowler back in the lineup tonight after the veteran defenseman missed 23 games with a facial injury suffered in November. But he wasn't able to help stop the Oilers from scoring four times in the first 27 1/2 minutes of the game.
Edmonton was seemingly ripe for the picking, having gotten drubbed 4-0 just last night in LA. Anaheim did have 39 shots in the game but couldn't get any by Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot, who came into tonight with a 3.23 goals against average. It was just the third time all season the Ducks were shut out and the first time at home.
"If there is one issue, it's a lot easier to fix," Getzlaf added. "It's a matter of buckling down, getting in a groove again and playing the right way shift in, shift out. There are small areas of the game we're making mistakes all the time. When they're repeated mistakes, that's when it hurts you."
Edmonton captain Connor McDavid potted the game's first goal, staying with the puck after Ducks goalie John Gibson made a left pad save and sneaking it inside the near post.
The Oilers made it 2-0 with a little under four minutes left in the period when Jesse Puljujarvi slipped a backhander under Gibson in traffic.
The Ducks seemingly got a chance to get back in it on a late power play in the first, but the Oilers instead countered with a shorthanded goal when Kyle Brodziak buried a backhand to make it 3-0.
"I didn't think we came out that bad tonight," said Ducks defenseman Josh Manson. "The first period, we had a lot of chances. We just couldn't find the back of the net. A few of these games, we've been playing well and getting chances, but we're just not on the winning end. Everybody is looking for answers, but at the end of the day I thought we did good things tonight."
Ducks killer Leon Draisaitl got his seventh goal in the last seven games 7 1/2 minutes into the second period to make it 4-0, sparking a scuffle involving Getzlaf and a couple of Oilers, as the frustration boiled over.
"We had a lot of opportunities at their net, that's for sure," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had lots of puck possession time. They blocked 21 shots, and we missed 21. We had the puck a lot. The one thing we were guilty of was we didn't show enough tenacity in the critical scoring areas. [Talbot] got to see a lot of pucks, and some of the pucks he didn't see hit him. He was in good position, so you have to credit them. They just waited for an opportunity."
Anaheim's six-game homestand rolls on Wednesday night vs. Ottawa at Honda Center.