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Hockey / Sports

Ducks lose again at home, falling to Blue Jackets

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The team that couldn't lose at home is now finding it a real chore to win there.

It took 23 outings at Honda Center before the Anaheim Ducks lost a game in regulation but a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night had the appearance that their minds are on the upcoming Olympic break than keeping up their dominance on home ice.

All of a sudden, the Ducks (40-13-5) have lost three of four on a homestand that ends Wednesday against defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago. They've dropped five of their last nine overall, four of those coming in their once-feared barn.

"We knew we're going to hit some patches here and there," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "It's frustrating a little bit with our effort and our start to the game. We're not ready to play."

Nick Foligno scored twice and Ryan Johansen and R.J. Umberger also tallied to support a strong 34-save effort by reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, who allowed only third-period scores to Getzlaf and Mathieu Perreault.

After becoming the first team since the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens to win 18 of 19 in one regular-season stretch, the Ducks (40-13-5) have now found what real adversity looks like. They're 20-0-2 start at home is now a memory.

"It's a frustrating time," Getzlaf said. "We're at that point in the year where you got the break coming up and you're trying to focus on hockey. Everyone else wants you to focus on everything else around it.

"It's one of those things where we got to get our mindset right for these next two games and finish this right."

Said Perreault: "We don't want to think that way but it might affect the guys a little bit. A couple of more games and you get a rest. But those games are just as important as all the other games."

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau scoffed at the suggestion of a team that's distracted.

"Whatever it is, it's an excuse," Boudreau said. "It may be true. I don't know. I'm not distracted. ... If it is, then we got to change it. Because it's not right.

"Why isn't Columbus distracted? Why wasn't Dallas distracted? They all got guys going to the Olympics. They got guys waiting for the break. If we're winning the games, nobody's talking about distraction."

(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)

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