The Anaheim Ducks still haven’t lost in regulation this season. They’ve been just as impressive against the Chicago Blackhawks as of late.
The Ducks go for their seventh straight win over the struggling Blackhawks when they visit the United Center Saturday in the second of three straight road games.
Anaheim (7-0-3), which has won three in a row in Chicago since Nov. 2, 2003, suffered another shootout loss, 3-2 to Minnesota on Friday in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Western Conference.
The Ducks have only one shootout win this season and had a four-game winning streak snapped in the loss to the Wild.
“We would have liked to get that extra point in the shootout, but we played a good road game,” rookie defenseman Shane O’Brien said.
“He made a great save on my first shot and the second I missed a little and shot it into his stomach,” McDonald said. “He’s a great goaltender.”
The Ducks were held scoreless in four power-play chances and did not score in the shootout.
Despite the loss, the Ducks have 17 points, and a one-point lead over the Dallas Stars in the Pacific Division. Anaheim, off to its best start in team history, needed 22 games before recording its eighth win last season.
The Ducks will wrap up their road trip on Monday at St. Louis.
Chicago (4-5-0) has been reeling during the last week. The Blackhawks dropped their third straight game, a 5-0 decision to the Vancouver Canucks at home Wednesday to fall below .500 for the first time in 2006-07.
The Blackhawks had consecutive one-goal losses to Dallas and St. Louis before Thursday’s defeat.
Without leading scorer Martin Havlat (ankle), dependable forward Michal Handzus (knee) and goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin (broken finger), Chicago didn’t display much offense despite 32 shots. The Blackhawks also didn’t offer much defensive help to backup goaltender Brian Boucher, who finished with 26 saves.
The Blackhawks have been outscored 14-7 in during their slide.
“Our defense wasn’t as good as it has been and our goaltending was average,” Blackhawks coach Trent Yawney said. “We’ve got to find a way to nip this as fast as possible. No one is going to feel sorry for you.”
Havlat, with a team-high 13 points, is expected to be out up to three weeks. Handzus is out for the season and Khabibulin is expected to miss two weeks.
With Havlat and Handzus out, the Blackhawks may look to right wing Radim Vrbata for offense. Vrbata leads the team with eight assists and is second with 11 points.
Chicago was outscored 14-6 by Anaheim in 2005-06 while being swept in the season series.