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Sputtering Blackhawks look for rebound performance against Ducks

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Chicago has just one victory in its last seven games.

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

The reeling Blackhawks continue to venture through California this weekend, stopping in Anaheim on Sunday night to face the Ducks.

It’s a 3-6-3 start for Chicago, a woeful opening to the season that was exacerbated by a dreadful 4-3 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night. It’s one win in its last seven games for Chicago, which hasn’t won in regulation since a 3-1 win over Edmonton on Oct. 14.

The situation is better in Anaheim, where the Ducks have won three of their last four games, following a brief three-game skid that came after a red-hot 6-2 start to the season. Anaheim defeated Vancouver in overtime Friday night, meaning the Ducks should be more rested than a Blackhawks team that played Saturday night.

As detailed in our tale of the tape below, Anaheim’s offense is far from prolific. The Ducks are averaging just 2.73 goals per game and have a power play converting just 8.3 percent of the time, ranking Anaheim behind Chicago at 30th in the league.

The saving grace for the Ducks has been in net, where starter John Gibson and backup Ryan Miller have each been magnificent. Both goaltenders are on the positive side of the Goals Saved Above Average statistic, with Gibson at 6.94 and Miller at 2.10. It’s led to a team-wide PDO of 103.3 that seems unsustainable. However, if Anaheim’s scoring is revived before their goaltending numbers begin regressing to the mean, the Ducks could continue to remain at the top of the Pacific Division standings.

In many ways, Anaheim’s current configuration is what the Blackhawks were hoping to be: a team with two goaltenders playing well that could make up for any defensive lapses. But that hasn’t happened yet, with Chicago’s coverage miscues being too egregious and too frequent to mask, while the offense remains stuck in neutral. Following a loss to an awful Kings team that saw the Blackhawks get out-shot, out-chanced and out-played, reasons for optimism have disappeared. And soon, front office positions — including the head coach and general manager — could be in danger if the Blackhawks continue this run of meager performances.

Redemption is best earned in a rebound victory just 24 hours after one of the worst nights of Chicago’s young season.

Let’s go Hawks!

Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Ducks

46.8% (28th) — Corsi For — 46.4% (29th)

48.9% (20th) — Faceoffs — 52.3% (5th)

2.33 (29th) — Goals per game — 2.73 (23rd)

3.08 (16th) — Goals against per game — 2.40 (6th)

11.8% (28th) — Power play — 8.3% (30th)

79.5% (21st) — Penalty kill — 81.5% (16th)

Lineups

Blackhawks

Saad — Toews — Nylander

DeBrincat — Strome — Kane

Kubalik — Kampf — Dach

Caggiula — Carpenter — Shaw

Keith — Boqvist

de Haan — Seabrook

Gustafsson — Maatta

Lehner

Crawford

Ducks

Ritchie — Getzlaf — Terry

Rakell — Henrique — Silfverberg

Shore — Steel — Comtois

Deslauries — Grant — Rowney

Lindholm — Gudbrandson

Mahura — Fowler

Larsson — Del Zotto

Miller

Gibson

How to watch

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Honda Center, Anaheim

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Live stream: NBC Sports app