Ducks, Blackhawks keep heading in opposite directions

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Another slow start and a little bit of bad luck sent the Chicago Blackhawks to their fifth consecutive defeat on Wednesday night as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks.

Anaheim scored two goals in less than 30 seconds in the first period to build a 2-0 lead, giving the Blackhawks yet another early multiple goal deficit. Slow starts have plagued the Blackhawks all season, and especially during this recent stretch where they have lost 16 out of their past 19 games.

They were able to rally to tie the game, but Ondrej Kase scored the go-ahead goal for Anaheim early in the third period while Jakob Silfverberg added an empty-net goal to put the game away.

The Ducks have now won five in a row and collected at least a point in 10 of their past 12 games.

What had to make this loss especially frustrating for the Blackhawks is the fact they could not catch a break anywhere on the ice.

[Related: Sprong scores on first shot with Ducks]

Corey Crawford gave up a tough goal to Daniel Sprong in the first period, while Ducks goalie John Gibson stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced. When he was not stopping shots, he was getting bailed out by his goal posts as the Blackhawks rang four different shots off the goal posts next to Gibson.

With the win the Ducks closed to within a single point of the Calgary Flames for first place in the Pacific Division.

The Blackhawks are just two points out of the cellar in the Western Conference and have played more games than the only two teams (St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings) still trailing them.

They are also now just 3-9-2 since firing Joel Quenneville.

 

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.