Ducks can’t think outside the box, fall to Kraken

Anaheim surrenders 10 power play opportunities en route to 4-2 loss; Ducks score two shorthanded goals within 44 seconds.

SEATTLE — After a lethargic, uninspired Tuesday night loss to the Seattle Kraken, the Anaheim Ducks’ approached the scheduling anomaly of a Thursday night rematch at Climate Pledge Arena with a simple mandate: stay out of the box. Incessant penalty calls have robbed the Ducks of opportunities to build momentum on offense and score goals.

That mandate was evidently too high of a bar for the young Ducks, who surrendered a mystifying 10 power play opportunities to Seattle en route to a 4-2 Kraken victory.

Anaheim scored its first two goals of the two-game series in the third period when Isac Lundestrom and Jakob Silfverberg scored back-to-back shorthanded goals 44 seconds apart. Silfverberg’s goal actually gave Anaheim a 2-1 lead at the time.

But any hope the Ducks might have had to maintain or extend their lead was kneecapped by a conveyor belt of Anaheim players to the penalty box.

Shortly after Silfverberg’s goal, Ryan Strome took a penalty. Then Trevor Zegras took one, giving the Kraken almost four full minutes of power play time. Andre Burakovsky scored on at 13:35 and the game was again tied.

The Ducks nearly eclipsed their listless Tuesday night total of 12 shots on goal within the first period Thursday, all while also displaying more appropriate levels of speed, focus, physicality, and willingness to shoot. And when Kraken goalie Philip Grubauer made an easy glove save on a point shot, Ducks forwards were near the crease, poking, elbowing, being difficult to play against.

A mid-second period slashing penalty on Cam Fowler gave Jaden Schwartz a chance to tap a bouncing rebound past Lukas Dostal, giving Seattle the first lead of the game. Seattle retakes shots lead, 14-12. Alex Killorn took a high sticking penalty a few minutes later but Dostal withstood a flurry of Seattle shots to keep the deficit at a single goal heading into the third period.

The Ducks head north for their next game. They will be reconnected with former teammates Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick on Saturday when they face the Edmonton Oilers.