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Ducks give up 4 straight goals in loss to Devils

NEWARK, N.J. — It was the Jakob Silfverberg Show.

Until it wasn’t.

The Ducks squandered a strong showing from the Swedish forward who gave them a burst of energy and offense, scoring twice in the first period against the New Jersey Devils. But the struggling Devils – searching for their first win – fought back and took territorial control, scoring four consecutive goals to defeat the Ducks, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Prudential Center.

“It felt good after the first,” Silfverberg said. “Not so good after the second and even worse after the third.”

The Ducks are 1-3, while New Jersey is 1-2.

Silfverberg had been scratched against the New York Rangers on Monday, having been under the weather recently and still trying to get back to full speed after suffering a blood clot in his leg last season. Taking a seat in the pressbox isn’t easy for anyone, let alone a proud veteran.

“You want to play every night,” he said. “No one wants to watch the team play and I didn’t take it lightly. I wasn’t excited. But you try to show up and play hard today and looking back at it, maybe that’s what I needed. I feel like today was by far the best game this year so far for me.”

He scored from the left circle at 7:57 after center Isac Lundestrom won the draw clean from Erik Haula, and converted again from in front at 13:08. It was an important test for Silfverberg, who looked like he was feeling like himself again.

“I hope so,” he said. “I felt today I was way more involved without the puck. I was trying to get the puck rather than just being out there. This is a game I can be proud of myself playing, if you want to put it that way.”

Scoring for the Devils were forwards Ondrej Palat and Nico Hischier and defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Dawson Mercer. Hamilton had the game-winner just 33 seconds into the third period, making it 3-2. He was set up by Jesper Bratt, who was a force all night and created an impact beyond his two assists.

“I thought we got a healthy dose of what back-to-back games feel like in this league,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “As the game went on, I thought we made some tired mistakes. (The) puck didn’t go our way a couple of times. You’re going to get bad bounces in this league.

“We didn’t manage their pushes or their pressure and you’ve got to learn how to do that in back-to-back games when one team is fresh and the other is not.”

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Even after Palat got New Jersey on the scoreboard at 4:17 of the second period, cutting the Ducks’ lead to 2-1, the visitors still had a measure of momentum. Ducks forward Adam Henrique looked poised to make it 3-1 just past the midway point of the second but hit the post.

Silfverberg said it was difficult to pinpoint when the run of play tipped the Devils’ way.

“They started playing like we did in the first,” he said. “They got pucks in behind us and we started making the hard play rather than the right play and ended up being caught on long shifts and having some tough turnovers. Rolling over us instead of us rolling over them. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”

The Ducks won their season-opening game against Seattle but have dropped all three games on this trip, giving up 17 goals in the three losses. It was the first start of the season for Ducks goaltender Anthony Stolarz, who came in on relief for John Gibson to start the third period against the New York Islanders on Saturday and again in the final 20 minutes against the Rangers on Monday. Stolarz, like Gibson, was kept busy dealing with high-shot volume, facing 41 shots from the Devils.

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