Usually it's a good thing when a team has a lead in the third period. But for the Ducks as of late, that simply isn't the case.
Tonight, they did what they've done in three of the past four games - have a lead in the final period of a game. And like they've done in three of the past four games, they found a way to give it up. The Ducks opened the scoring at the 12:03 mark of the second period to take a 1-0 lead, but they allowed the Red Wings to creep back in when it mattered most.
The result for the Ducks was a 3-1 loss to the Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena, which pushed their winless streak to 12 games (0-8-4). They played most of the game without the services of Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler, both suffering lower-body injuries. Silfverberg was injured during the first period and didn't return, while Kesler went out early in the second period.
Blowing third-period leads while mired in a month-long winless stretch has Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm searching for answers. "Felt like we were holding our sticks too hard," he said. "We had chances to take the lead. In the third period, when the team is on us, we fall. We have to be on our toes the whole time and go after teams. If you play in your zone a lot, they're going to score at some point."
John Gibson stopped 22 of 25 shots in the loss, but had two of the three goals go in off deflections. After Anthony Mantha tied the game for Detroit on a shot from the right dot at the 5:25 mark of the third period, the next two goals for Detroit came off deft deflections from Gustav Nyquist and Darren Helm. Not much Gibson could do on those.
Jimmy Howard stood tall at the other end, stopping 23 of 24 shots to give the Red Wings their second consecutive victory.
Rickard Rakell scored the lone goal for Anaheim. Like the two Detroit goals, this one, too, was deflected, as Nick Ritchie's shot from the high slot clipped Rakell in the shin before it sneaked past Howard.
Video: ANA@DET: Rakell scores PPG on deflection
The goal gave Rakell points in three straight games (2g/1a) and seven points (3g/4a) in his last seven. Meanwhile, the assist gave Ritchie his fourth power-play point of the season, a new career high.
Devin Shore recorded four hits in his Ducks debut and finished with 18:48 time on ice. Wearing No. 29, Shore started the game alongside Carter Rowney and Daniel Sprong, but was elevated in the lineup after the injuries to Silfverberg and Kesler.
The Ducks will look to snap their losing streak on Thursday in Minnesota.