Duclair looks to break out of slump as Senators host Ducks

NHL Hockey
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The Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators will keep searching for offense when they meet on Tuesday night in Ottawa.

Entering Monday, the Ducks are 29th in the NHL in scoring at 2.5 goals per game and don’t have a player in the top 50 in goals scored.

The Senators rank 22nd in scoring (2.73) and their leading goal scorer, Anthony Duclair, hasn’t scored in the past 14 games — going without a goal since Dec. 21.

The good news for both teams is some unexpected players have stepped up their scoring pace.

Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki, best known for his physical style of play, has a career-high seven goals and 18 points through 50 games this season.

He scored his latest in a 2-1 overtime loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

“I said to a couple of the security guards I’ve kind befriended here over the years that it’s lot more fun than fighting and a little more rewarding,” Borowiecki told reporters after the loss to Toronto. “I’m just trying to chip in and help the best I can, and it’s always nice to sneak one in.”

The Ducks have won four of six games for the first time since starting the season 6-2-0.

After opening their five-game road trip with a 3-1 win at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night, Anaheim is in position to win two straight in regulation for the first time since Oct. 16-18.

Derek Grant scored the game-winner in the second period on Saturday, giving the former Ottawa fourth-round pick his 11th goal of the season, one shy of his career high.

Grant plays on the fourth line, which has been one of the bright spots for the Ducks this season.

“Deep into their back end, they got a goal from that group, and we didn’t get that,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “That’s the difference.”

Defending against the Ducks should be a lot easier after Ottawa went up against Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals on Friday, and Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs on Saturday, each of whom has more than 50 points on the season.

The Ducks don’t have a player with more than 35 points.

“We’ve just seen some of the best players in the world in Ovechkin to Matthews and Marner,” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said after the loss to Toronto. “It’s great for our guys. You can see our guys are playing right with them. In time, we’ll find ways to finish these games off.”

The Ducks can use more offense from their top-line players, and so could the Senators.

Duclair is stuck on 21 goals after reaching that mark in 37 games. He hasn’t scored since just before Christmas.

“It’s a little bit (frustrating) but I can’t get down on myself. I’ve got to keep going,” Duclair told reporters after the loss to the Maple Leafs. “I’m getting the looks. I’m getting the opportunities, and if I keep working hard it’s going to find itself in the back of the net for me.”

The Senators could be getting a versatile forward back from injury. Nick Paul skated in a regular practice jersey on Monday morning.

He has been sidelined with a lower-body injury since the second period against the Capitals on Jan. 7.

Paul had six goals and seven assists in the first 38 games, more than he totaled in his first four seasons in Ottawa combined.

–Field Level Media

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