Amid front-office investigation, Ducks face Kraken

Sports

The Anaheim Ducks are trying to keep their focus on the ice, where they have a five-game winning streak, and not the NHL’s latest investigation into workplace misconduct in the front office.

Longtime Ducks executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray was placed on leave Tuesday amid an ongoing investigation into verbal mistreatment of staff.

Professional conduct has come under heightened scrutiny after the Chicago Blackhawks were fined $2 million for their handling of sexual assault allegations by former first-round pick Kyle Beach.

The Ducks learned of Murray’s leave before Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime victory at Vancouver. They play Thursday night at Seattle in their first meeting against the expansion Kraken.

“My initial reaction was there was a long pause and I immediately started worrying about our players and our staff and how we were going to prepare for (the game),” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “Because I knew the news was going to travel quickly and swiftly.”

Added captain Ryan Getzlaf: “I know the questions and I know you guys want answers. And so do we. I just can’t address anything while they’re investigating still and going through things.

“Things that happened 20 years ago are just not acceptable nowadays and that’s good. The world’s evolving and I think it’s important that we protect people and protect each other. And the sports world’s no different. We’re humans just like everybody else. We make mistakes but we also learn from things. Hopefully, the sports world, as a whole, can get together and really nail this thing down to be better people in the end.”

The Ducks didn’t seem to be affected on the ice Tuesday in extending their point streak to seven games (5-0-2). Troy Terry got his name on the scoresheet for the league-leading 12th consecutive game and also netted the winner in OT. John Gibson made 41 saves.

“(Terry) is doing a great job. I mean, he’s working,” Getzlaf said. “(Tuesday) wasn’t our best night as a line. I felt like we fought it early, we didn’t drive the bus the way we need to, and that’s on us as a group but it’s about being resilient and finishing the way we wanted to and those are good signs for our group.”

The Kraken have lost four of their past five games, including a 4-2 defeat Tuesday at Las Vegas.

The Kraken took a lead on Yanni Gourde’s goal in the final minute of the second period, but the Golden Knights responded 15 seconds later and then scored twice more in the opening 1:16 of the third.

The tying goal after Gourde’s tally was the sixth time the Kraken have allowed an opponent to respond within two minutes of one of their goals.

“For me, (the Vegas goal to tie it 2-2) was a response shift after a great shift and a goal is scored at the end of the second period,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “We have to go into the second intermission up by one. That’s a goal we can’t give up.”

Jordan Eberle also scored for Seattle and Chris Driedger made 19 saves in his first start of the season.

“Look at the standings and we’re losing ground,” Eberle said. “You obviously can’t win the Stanley Cup in the first couple of months in the season, but you can definitely fall out of it.”

–Field Level Media

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