The Anaheim Ducks have lost five of six as they prepare to open a five-game road trip with Saturday's visit to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Given that the schedule overlaps with the looming NHL All-Star break, the Ducks will be away from the Honda Center for nearly three weeks, a quirk they hope to use to their advantage.
"Maybe that's a good thing, to get on the road and get after it again," Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "This is the grinding part of the (season). This is when everyone is pushing. Everybody wants points. We have to find ourselves in a fight every night."
Anaheim enters play with 39 points, fewest in the Western Conference. While Western counterpart Chicago has five more points than the Ducks, the Blackhawks also reside in their division basement following losses in three of four games.
The Ducks are coming off Thursday's 3-0 home loss to streaking Dallas, which handed Anaheim only its second shutout loss of the season and first since Nov. 29 at Winnipeg.
Even-strength chances against Stars goaltender Ben Bishop were there, but the Ducks weren't able to solve Bishop, who made 27 saves.
"We'll keep searching there," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "If we're not going to score, we can't give up anything. That's just the way it is. We've got to come out of this with zero goals against. We've got to keep it out of our net, and we're going to have to check like (mad) to do that."
Anaheim, the lowest-scoring club in the West, was without leading scorer and lone All-Star selection Jakob Silfverberg, who suffered an upper-body injury Tuesday against Columbus.
Chicago will be looking to re-establish its defensive discipline after allowing a trio of first-period goals en route to a 5-2 home loss to Nashville on Thursday night.
"They were ready to go," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "We gave them chances. Even if you're not having your best period, you can find ways to play."
The Blackhawks welcomed back Drake Caggiula to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 10, as the forward was recovering from a concussion.
Caggiula lauded teammate Andrew Shaw, also sidelined with a concussion, for providing additional support.
"Shawzy and I talked a lot throughout the whole process on how to handle it and what we're experiencing, how we feel emotionally away from the rink," Caggiula said. "It was nice to have somebody along with me to go through that."
Goaltender Robin Lehner was active Thursday for the first time since suffering a right knee injury Jan. 2, and might get the call Saturday to spell Corey Crawford, who has made three straight starts for Chicago.
Blackhawks center Dylan Strome remains day-to-day after injuring his right ankle during Tuesday's home loss to Calgary.
Chicago earned a 3-2 road victory in overtime in the teams' first meeting this season on Nov. 3. The Ducks and Blackhawks are set to conclude the season series March 3 at United Center.
--Field Level Media
Ducks begin 5-game road trip at Blackhawks
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