ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Anaheim Ducks were still skating toward the penalty box when it mattered most in yet another loss.
Lubomir Visnovsky scored a power-play goal 2:41 into the third period, blasting a shot from the right point past goalie Jonas Hiller, to help the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ducks 3-2 victory on Wednesday night. With the loss, the Ducks dropped to 0-4-0.
“The first half we have to give them credit, they played real good. The second half, we took it from them and played better,” Garon said. “We worked hard and took more shots on net, that’s how we are going to score goals.”
Anaheim averaged over 31 penalty minutes during its opening three losses. The Ducks managed to take just four minor-penalties Wednesday, but a call against Corey Perry 2:21 into the final period for interfering with Garon provided the Oilers the chance to score the winner.
“It was my first shot. The coaches were saying after the second period to shoot more,” said Visnovsky, acquired in a trade this summer after playing his first seven seasons in Los Angeles. “It was very important for our power play and for my confidence in our next game.”
Hiller made 25 saves in his first start of the season.
Kent Huskins and Rob Niedermayer scored for the Ducks, who have gotten just a single goal from their top six forwards—a late game tally by Teemu Selanne in a 6-3 loss at Los Angeles—during their first four games.
“I think the frustration level is starting to show, we expect more from that group than what we’ve got,” Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. “We’re going to have to work with them to find a way to bounce one in off a shin pad or something to get the ball rolling.”
After sitting as a healthy scratch Tuesday night in the loss to the Kings, Huskins had plenty of early resolve Wednesday. He quickly jumped into a rush and blasted a rising shot past Garon 2:12 after Horcoff gave the Oilers a 1-0 lead in the first.
Niedermayer put the Ducks ahead 2-1 in the second period, whisking in a backhander from the high slot after Travis Moen and Scott Niedermayer fought to keep the puck alive along the right boards in the Oilers’ zone.
The Oilers were then able to grab momentum back as Ducks took a pair of minor penalties.
“That kind of turned the tide for them, they didn’t score but we wore down,” Carlyle said. “You can’t play 2 minutes in your own end and not expend energy. That’s what happened and then we started to sit back on our heals more.”
Edmonton tied it with 1:37 to play in the second when Souray deflected a pass from Robert Nillson off the right post and under Hiller.
“It’s frustrating, but it was a good effort overall,” Selanne said. “We have to stay positive now. Tonight’s effort was a good step forward, but we still have to find one more notch to win games.”
Ducks defenseman Ken Klee and forward Brian Sutherby were healthy scratches. … The announced crowd of 16,604 was 570 short of a sellout, ending a 78-game regular- season and playoff streak at Honda Center dating to Dec. 6, 2006.