Despite all the good that has happened for the Ducks over this month, they learned a harsh lesson on Thursday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. They took their foot completely off the gas in the third period, and at times seemed to throw it in reverse after giving up two unanswered goals with under 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Ducks saw their season-high five-game winning streak come to an abrupt end when Mark Scheifele buried his 30th goal of the season at the 3:34 mark of OT.
"They played better in the third period," said Ducks defenseman Kevin Bieksa. "We were good for 40 minutes, but we played on our heels in the third. They had nothing to lose. They hemmed us in our zone for long periods of time and we didn't execute."
Despite the overtime setback, the Ducks earned a point to keep them atop the Pacific Division standings. Overall, the Ducks have gone 9-1-2 over their last 12 games and 10-2-2 dating to the end of their bye week on March 3. With a point earned, the Ducks now have points in nine consecutive games (7-0-2, 16 points).
Corey Perry had a multi-goal performance and Jakob Silfverberg found the back of the net for the Ducks, who will continue their four-game road trip on Saturday night in Edmonton. Jonathan Bernier made 36 saves, but saw his career-tying five-game winning streak end.
Joel Armia, Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien scored in regulation for the Jets, while Michael Hutchinson stopped 25 shots to push Winnipeg's winning streak to three games.
The Ducks jumped out to a 1-0 lead courtesy of Silfverberg, who potted his 22nd goal of the season off a faceoff. After corralling a loose puck at the far boards, Silfverberg shook off Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba and circled around the top of the dot before unloading his patented snap shot over Hutchinson's right shoulder. The goal was his third tally over his last six games and gave him 45 points in what has been a career-setting season for the 26-year-old forward.
Video: ANA@WPG: Silfverberg tallies off a faceoff win
Anaheim's lead was short-lived, however, as the Jets found the equalizer 3 ½ minutes later when Armia snuck a wrist shot through the five-hole for his fourth shorthanded tally of the season and 10th goal overall. It was a bit of bad luck for the Ducks, who were set up in the offensive zone until Cam Fowler broke his stick on a slap shot. Armia was able to gather the loose puck, enter the offensive zone, pick himself up after getting checked to the ice by Ryan Getzlaf, and squeak out a shot that seemed to fool Bernier.
The Ducks regained the lead with 1:04 remaining in the opening frame when Perry buried a rebound in the high slot just seconds after the club killed off Sami Vatanen's minor penalty for high sticking. For Perry, it represented his 17th goal of the season and increased his point streak to four games (3g/1a). Antoine Vermette tacked on an assist, giving him three helpers over the last two games.
Video: ANA@WPG: Perry backhands a rebound past Hutchinson
Perry delivered again, this time at the 7:01 mark of the second period when he scored an elusive power-play goal for the Ducks on a wrist shot that snuck under Hutchinson's left pad. It was a vintage goal of sorts for Perry, who opted for one of his trademark toe drags to freeze Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey before letting off his shot. It was Perry's 56th career multi-goal game and gave him four goals over his last four games.
Video: ANA@WPG: Perry nets nifty PPG for second of the night
The Jets cut the two-goal deficit in half at the 11:35 mark of the third period when Wheeler found time and space in the high slot to bury his 24th goal of the season. The goal gave Winnipeg's captain 18 points over his last 12 games and brought the capacity crowd back to life.
Winnipeg's offensive barrage paid off when Byfuglien muscled a shot past Bernier with 12 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game, 3-3.
Scheifele capped off the comeback with a blistering one-timer from the left circle that sent the Jets faithful into a frenzy.
"We know these games are going to be tough, but we're not happy with the way things went," said Bieksa. "We had a two-goal lead, and we're a good team playing with the lead. We let one slip away tonight. It stinks. It's a tough pill to swallow, but we'll move forward."
The Ducks will conclude their four-game road trip on Saturday night in Edmonton and Sunday night in Calgary before returning home for the final three games of the season.