DETROIT — The Anaheim Ducks dropped their heads on the bench and looked down at their skates, another defeat seemingly imminent.
Gustav Nyquist broke a tie with 4:16 left and Darren Helm scored a little later, lifting the Detroit Red Wings over the Ducks 3-1 on Tuesday night to extend their franchise-record losing streak to 12 games.
"I just see the frustration," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
For the third straight setback, Anaheim went into the third period with a one-goal lead and failed to win.
"This is a familiar story for us," said Carlyle, recently given a vote of confidence by general manager Bob Murray. "We get a one-goal lead going into the third period and we just seem to be running right out of gas."
The Ducks’ losing streak is the NHL’s longest single-season skid since the Buffalo Sabres lost 14 games in a row four years ago.
"We’ve had our meetings," defenceman Jake Dotchin said. "I don’t know how many more we can really have, to be honest with you. We talk as players without the coaches. We talk with the coaches."
Anaheim’s challenge to regroup might include playing without forwards Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler. Silfverberg exited in the first period after his left leg got tangled up with Detroit defenceman Mike Green along the boards. The next period, Kesler also left the game with a lower-body injury.
"It’s hard to be critical when you’re down to 10 forwards and we’re trying to survive," Carlyle said.
John Gibson stopped 22 shots for the Ducks, who haven’t won since Dec. 17. Prior to the skid, they had won nine of 10.
Jimmy Howard finished with 23 saves for the Red Wings, who won two straight for the first time in more than a month.
"It’s been a long time, so that feels nice, obviously," Nyquist said. "I think we’ve been trending in the right direction for quite a while, to be honest with you, and not getting the wins. At the same time, it feels like we stand here talking about that and at some point, you’ve got to prove it. Hopefully, we can use these two wins and build on them."
Detroit tied it 5:25 into the third when Anthony Mantha scored from the right circle, shooting the puck after it bounced off a cross-ice pass from Andreas Athanasiou.
Carlyle could not believe the good break the Red Wings got on the play, as the puck went right to Mantha’s stick blade.
"It’s like, ‘Oh, my God,"’ Carlyle said. "How can that just happen?"
The Red Wings went ahead when Nyquist lifted his stick at the left side of the net and tipped in Danny DeKeyser’s shot from the slot. Helm’s goal with 2:33 remaining gave the Red Wings a two-goal cushion.
Anaheim got off to a strong start but couldn’t sustain it, even against one of the NHL’s worst teams.
"We need to create more chances, but it feels like we don’t have the confidence to beat the guy we are facing right now," said Rickard Rakell , who deflected a shot past Howard midway through the second period on a power play. "We’re playing too much on the outside, which makes us easy to defend, and we’re always in a defensive mode, waiting for a mistake."
NOTES: Ducks centre Devin Shore, who had a game-high four hits, made his Anaheim debut after being acquired from the Dallas Stars for winger Andrew Cogliano. "He’s an NHL player, a smart player," Carlyle said. "He knows his way around the rink and he makes some plays." … Detroit scratched D Filip Hronek to make room for DeKeyser, who had been out since Dec. 4 with an upper-body injury. Hronek had a goal and four assists in his previous five games.
Ducks: Play at Minnesota on Thursday, the third stop on a five-game road trip.
Red Wings: Play at Calgary on Friday night, starting an 11-game stretch with eight on the road.