Found November 15, 2011 on
With some of the best forwards in the game, the Anaheim Ducks' scoring woes certainly come as a surprise.
Things aren't about to get any easier with a home-and-home set against one of the league's stingiest defenses.
The Ducks try to avoid an eighth loss in nine games when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
Three-time 30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan, two-time All-Star Ryan Getzlaf and reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry make up one of the most skilled lines in the league. The trio, however, has combined for just 15 goals and 14 assists this season - 20 fewer points than it totaled through 17 games in 2010-11.
That line has accounted for just four goals during Anaheim's current 1-5-2 slump. Even Teemu Selanne has started to struggle, posting one point over the past five games after compiling 14 through his first 12.
Averaging a Western Conference-worst 2.00 goals per game, the Ducks (6-8-3) find themselves at the bottom of the Pacific Division.
"On paper, you look at this team and we should be doing a lot better than we are," defenseman Cam Fowler told the team's official website. "Paper only says so much. It's up to us right now to rally around each other."
Fowler's first two goals of the season accounted for Anaheim's only offense during Sunday's 3-2 loss to Minnesota - the team's 10th defeat in 12 games. Jonas Hiller was pulled after turning away just 12 of 15 shots in the first period.
After getting outscored 17-6 during an 0-3-2 road skid, the Ducks know they'll have their hands full with the Kings (8-6-3), who rank near the top of the league with a 2.24 goals-against average. The teams also meet Thursday in Anaheim.
"We have to put some wins together now," Fowler said. "It starts on Wednesday. We should be going into those two games like Stanley Cup Game 7. It's a big rivalry. Playing those guys back-to-back in a home-and-home, it could get us going in the right way in a positive direction or it could set us back again. We have to be ready."
Los Angeles is feeling pretty good after matching its highest scoring output of the season during Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Wild.
Captain Dustin Brown scored during the Kings' four-goal second period after going seven straight games without one. Jonathan Quick made 24 saves to snap a career worst-tying six-game skid.
"We're moving in the right direction," Terry Murray said after coaching his 1,000th NHL game. "We're a pretty good hockey club, and this team can be one for a lot of years because of the youth."
Quick, who ranks among the league leaders with a 1.96 GAA, is 4-2-1 with a 1.69 GAA and two shutouts at home. Since winning his first five games against the Ducks, Quick has gone 1-4-2 in the series.
Hiller is 0-3-0 with a 5.97 GAA in three career starts at Staples Center. Backup Dan Ellis has gone 7-1-0 with a 2.13 GAA in eight career starts versus Los Angeles.
This is the first meeting between these teams since Anaheim won four of six last season, including the last three.
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In a perfect world the Anaheim Ducks would only be required to show up for the third period and begin their season in February.
Ever since their Stanley Cup season in 2006-07, the Ducks, like clockwork, have gotten off to slow starts. Their record through 17 games the past five seasons is a combined 36-38-11.
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The Anaheim Ducks are still mired in the middle of their own.
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