Ducks review basics before facing high-scoring Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. — School was back in session on Sunday in what is feeling like the Ducks’ home away from home, the Prudential Center.

It was their second practice here on this trip — you take ice where you can get it — and they will play the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. Before that, on Monday they face the New York Rangers, who scored 11 goals in three games, one behind the league-leading Pittsburgh Penguins, who have played twice.

If the No. 3 defense pair — Robin Salo and Scott Mayfield — could torch Anaheim for a combined four goals the way they did in the Islanders’ 7-1 win on Saturday, who knows what the likes of the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad could do if the Ducks come out as loose and unstructured.

“We want to make sure we understand what our jobs are and execute them,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “It’s a fast-moving game. If you don’t want to do your job, it makes somebody else leave theirs to try to do yours, and that’s where the dominoes start to fall.

“We went from our first game where we were too passive to a game where we were just going to run around with our heads cut off. We’ve got to find the happy medium, so we thought it was a good day to not go as super-high intense but to slow things down and ask a lot of questions and talk things through.”

Said Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg: “Just going over some basics. There seemed to be some confusion in last night’s game. We have a pretty strict game plan, but there were some gray areas to clear up. You’re going to see that every now and then, year to year.

“You want to minimize those games for the year, but you’re not going to play your perfect game every night. You’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen two nights in a row. We know last night wasn’t the way we’re supposed to play. We took to practice today to make sure it doesn’t happen two nights in a row.”

Eakins, however, is contemplating changes. He said after the Islanders game that he wanted to get defenseman Colton White and forward Brett Leason (picked up last week on waivers) in a game on this trip. It will likely happen while the Ducks are in the New York-New Jersey area.

“Maybe — we’re going to think about it,” Eakins said of changes for the Rangers game. “The guys that haven’t played yet — Leason and White — we’ll try to get them both in here in the next two games.”

Silfverberg could be the forward coming out based on how he is playing and how he is feeling. He was limited to 53 games last season because of a blood clot in his leg. Max Jones, similarly, is struggling after missing even more time, playing only three games in 2021-22 because of a torn chest muscle. Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov was a minus-four in 21 minutes 11 seconds of action against the Islanders.

“Jones has played up and down,” Eakins said. “He played some great hockey in the exhibition season, and he’s trying to find his way in the regular season. The biggest thing for Jones is not to get frustrated and understand the process of getting better. It’s certainly not an elevator ride, that’s for sure.

“With (Silfverberg), it is kind of the same feeling. He’s been feeling a little bit under the weather the last few days as well, so we’re going to have to really watch and manage him as well.”


• Troy Terry took a shot off the outside of his ankle in the first period, and it led to a few anxious moments. He briefly left the game, returned and would later score in the third period, his third goal in two games.

“More than anything … it hurt,” Terry said after practicing Sunday. “My first step, I think I felt my leg kind of give out on me. It went numb, basically. I just needed to take a second to just be able to put weight on it.”

He had X-rays as a precautionary measure and is fine, adding: “Those type of things can go two ways when you wake up the next day and it feels good today.”

• Pavol Regenda took a shot close to his left knee in the first period and said it was only an issue for a couple of minutes. “Sacrifice for the team,” he said.

• Defenseman Urho Vaakanainen, who crashed into the boards in a preseason game on Sept. 30 and was briefly hospitalized, remains back in Orange County has not been cleared to get back on the ice.

“Those things take as long as they take,” Eakins said. “He’s doing OK, but he’s not up to skating.”

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