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Blackhawks’ defensive issues on full display in 6-3 loss to Ducks

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Anaheim scores four goals in only 26 minutes.

Chicago Blackhawks v Anaheim Ducks Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks defensive woes took center stage in a 6-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at Honda Center in Anaheim.

Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry each scored twice and Ryan Getzlaf had three assists for Anaheim (33-21-12, 78 points), who moved one point ahead of the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division.

Rickard Rakell opened the scoring with his fifth goal in three games and Marcus Pettersson tallied his first NHL goal to cap a 4-0 run by Anaheim to chase Anton Forsberg, who started for the second straight day, just 26 minutes into the game. J-F Berube entered in relief, allowing two goals and making six saves the rest of the game.

Down 2-0, the Hawks had two strong scoring chances in the first period from Patrick Kane and Matthew Highmore, but both were stymied by Ducks goaltender John Gibson. Kane’s shot was gloved by Gibson and Highmore’s wraparound attempt was blocked by Gibson’s right pad.

Hawks captain Jonathan Toews finally dropped the gloves against his longtime rival Ryan Kesler eight seconds into the second period. It is a feud that dates back to Kesler’s time with Vancouver at the start of the decade and saw increase exposure during the 2015 Western Conference Final.

The bout didn’t swing any momentum Chicago’s way as the Ducks score two more goals for a 4-0 lead.

Chicago finally got on the scoreboard when Tomas Jurco deflected a shot from Connor Murphy on a delayed penalty at 14 minutes, 59 seconds of the second period. Nick Schmaltz made it 4-2 just 67 seconds into the third period, but the Ducks capitalized on lapses on the blue line to rebuild its lead.

Jordan Oesterle failed to clear a rebound near the net, which Silfverberg backhanded into the net and Perry scored his second of the night after slipping behind Brent Seabrook and Oesterle for an easy tap in.

Schmaltz’s added his 20th goal of the season with less than three minutes left in the game. Vinnie Hinostroza had two assists.

The Hawks went 1-4 on their road trip, including being outscored 18-8 in their three games in California. Chicago hosts Colorado, who is battling for a playoff spot, on Tuesday.

3 Stars

1. Jakob Silfverberg (ANA), 2 goals

2. Corey Perry (ANA), 2 goals

3. Ryan Getzlaf (ANA), 3 assists