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The Anaheim Ducks haven't had to bounce back from a regulation loss in almost a month.
That's the position the Ducks find themselves in on Sunday night, when they face the visiting Florida Panthers for the first time in almost two years.
Anaheim (9-6-1) lost 5-2 to Dallas at home on Friday, its first regulation defeat since falling to Carolina on Oct. 19. The Ducks went 8-0-1 between those contests.
"The key here is to see how quickly we can rebound," center Brendan Morrison told the Ducks' official Website. "That is the sign of a good team is to bounce back right away."
Morrison and captain Scott Niedermayer scored for the Ducks, who allowed one more goal than they did while winning their previous three contests.
"We got away from our game of just the hard work, the skating and the simple things," said Niedermayer, who has a goal and an assist in his last two games overall, and two goals with four assists in his last five versus Florida.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere was replaced by Jonas Hiller on Friday after allowing four goals on 13 shots. It was the second straight week Giguere was removed from a game, as he also was taken out of a 7-6 shootout home loss to Vancouver on Oct. 31.
Giguere is 7-5-0 with a 3.06 goals-against average this season, and 4-3-0 with a tie and a 2.73 GAA against Florida.
This is the first meeting between the teams since Anaheim won 5-4 at Florida on Dec. 12, 2006. The Ducks have won three of the last four matchups.
The Panthers (4-8-1) look to avoid their seventh consecutive loss as they conclude a five-game road trip. Florida fell 4-1 at Phoenix on Saturday and has been outscored 15-8 during the trip, which has included a pair of one-goal losses.
"We're not playing hard enough," said defenseman Keith Ballard, Florida's leading scorer with 10 points, but who has just one assist on the trip. "At times we play OK, but at times we make dumb plays and it's not good."
Richard Zednik scored the lone goal for Florida, which is 1-6-1 on the road and owns the fewest points in the NHL with nine.
"We have a way of not handling adversity very well," Panthers first-year coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's been a problem here in the first month of the season. As soon as we face adversity, we're trying to do too much. That's not the way a team handles adversity."
Zednik has a goal with an assist in his last two games overall, and a goal in each of his last two versus Anaheim.
Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves against the Coyotes, but suffered his fourth straight loss and is 3-7-0 with a 3.01 GAA.
Vokoun is 8-11-1 with a tie and a 2.66 GAA against Anaheim, and could be rested in this back-to-back scenario. Backup Craig Anderson is 1-1-1 with a 2.64 GAA in four appearances with three starts this season. He is 0-2-0 with a 3.55 GAA versus the Ducks.
|Nov 09 '08||FLA 3 at ANA 1||D. Booth|