The Anaheim Ducks are mired in the longest losing streak in franchise history, and escaping the deep rut won't be easy when they open a five-game road trip at the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.
The Ducks are 0-7-3 in their past 10 games. They failed to take advantage of a season-long six-game homestand and now play 10 of their next 11 on the road.
Anaheim surged to a 3-0 lead Friday night against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins before giving up three straight goals in the second period and four straight in the fourth of a 7-3 loss. It was the most goals allowed at Honda Center in nearly eight years.
It was also the fifth time in the past seven games the Ducks lost after holding a lead, and the second time after building a multi-goal cushion.
"We need to learn how to play with a lead," said Ducks forward Adam Henrique. "Whether it's one goal, two or three at any point of the game, we need to be tight and keep your foot on the gas."
During the losing streak, the Ducks have combined for only two goals in the third period and have lost all three overtime games. Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after the loss to Pittsburgh that he doesn't see enough energy from his club.
"It seems like when we have to reach back for more energy or stiffness with our group, we're unable to do it," he said.
Anaheim was second in the Pacific Division and fourth in the Western Conference after beating the Penguins 4-2 on Dec. 17. The Ducks entered Saturday fourth in the Pacific Division -- 12 points behind the third-place Vegas Golden Knights -- and ninth in the West.
The good news is the Ducks entered Saturday just a point out of the second wild-card spot in the West.
Sunday's game will be the third of 18 straight against non-Pacific Division opponents.
Winnipeg had a four-point lead over the Nashville Predators in the Central Division at the Christmas break, but has gone 4-4-0 since, allowing the Predators to claw back into a tie with 58 points.
The Jets are coming off a 4-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. Like the Ducks, the Red Wings came in struggling and fell to 1-7-2 in their past 10 games.
Winnipeg forward Patrik Laine continues to seek the offensive spark that helped him score 18 goals in November. He was limited to three in December and has yet to score in five games in January.
Top line center Mark Scheifele has scored two goals in the past three games to tie Laine for the Jets' lead with 24 goals.
Bryan Little has been centering the second line with Laine on his wing, and he's riding a season-long four-game point streak, most recently scoring a goal against the Red Wings for his 500th NHL point.
"Bryan does whatever job we ask," Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters after the win against Detroit. "He's been a good example and a good mentor. ... He's a better player now than he's ever been."
--Field Level Media