ANAHEIM (CBSMiami/AP) – The Florida Panthers are back on the road, starting a west coast swing with a Sunday matchup against the Western Conference’s top team.
The Anaheim Ducks have gone to overtime in five straight games while playing without Corey Perry.
The problem is they have just one win in that span.
There’s a chance the Ducks could get Perry back Sunday night when they host the Panthers and familiar foe Roberto Luongo.
Anaheim (11-3-4) fell to 1-0-4 in this five-game stretch with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss at Los Angeles. The Ducks have blown leads in their last three defeats.
“We’re battling through a lot of injuries,” captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “We have some big guys out of the lineup. When we manage to get points every night, it’s a positive. Do we want two points, do we want the depth to be able to fill in for those guys? Yes, but we’re getting points and moving forward.”
The biggest absence for the Ducks is Perry, tied for second with Ryan Kesler with 15 points. Perry has been out while recovering from mumps, though he has returned to practice and coach Bruce Boudreau indicated he could return Sunday.
Defenseman Francois Beauchemin has missed the last three games with the same ailment.
In addition, forward Devante Smith-Pelly sat out Saturday with an upper-body injury after missing the Ducks’ past two practices. Chris Wagner played 7:08 after he was recalled from Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk.
“I hope there’s a chance that he’s playing tomorrow but we called up Chris and he did a really good job,” Boudreau said. “It was more precautionary cause we didn’t have any other forwards but he ended up having to play and we were fine with that.”
Kesler has seven points during a five-game run and Getzlaf has five of his team-high 17 points in the same span. Anaheim’s captain has three goals and five assists in his last four games against Florida.
The Ducks figure to get the chance to again victimize Luongo, who has started 12 of 14 games for the Panthers.
The Honda Center is a house of horrors for Luongo, whose 3.84 goals-against average there is his worst in any building. He went 1-4-1 with a 5.04 GAA in six starts there as Anaheim’s division rival when he was with Vancouver.
Florida (5-4-5) is beginning a four-game Western Conference trip after rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period before falling 4-3 in a shootout to the New York Islanders on Friday. Jimmy Hayes established a career high by scoring in his third straight game.
“The guys are making plays so I’m just trying to capitalize on everything,” said Hayes, who can register a point in five straight games for the first time in his career Sunday.
Defenseman Brian Campbell scored his first goal of the season and he logged a season-high 30:01 of ice time.
“I’ve been in a struggle,” Campbell said. “It’s nice to feel I’m starting to escape the last couple games and play the way I’m capable of.”
No team has played fewer games than the Panthers, who are the league’s third-lowest scoring club with 1.9 goals per game. That’s despite the fact that they take excellent care of the puck with an East-low average of 4.8 giveaways.
The Ducks have taken four of the last five meetings, getting six combined points from Perry and Getzlaf in a 6-2 home victory March 23.
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