The Chicago Blackhawks have suffered their share of disappointment over the past dozen years, but for a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, the past weekend was pretty humiliating.
Regaining their confidence could prove difficult as they embark on a difficult portion of the schedule without one of their top defenseman.
The Blackhawks try to put back-to-back heartbreaking defeats behind them and press on without Brian Campbell when they open a three-game road trip against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Chicago (44-18-6), which has two playoff appearances in the last 11 seasons, is poised to win its first division title since 1993 and has played like a Stanley Cup favorite for much 2009-10. Those dreams of winning the franchise's first championship since 1961, however, may have taken a hit over the weekend.
The Blackhawks allowed two goals in the final 2 minutes, including the winner with 2 seconds left, in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on Saturday. The next day, they surrendered three unanswered goals in a 2:16 span of the third period and fell 4-3 in overtime to Washington.
"Frustrating weekend, considering we got one point instead of four," captain Jonathan Toews said. "We've got the most skill in the league, on any team. There's no reason, up 3-0, we can't go out and finish the team off."
The Blackhawks managed one shot in the third period Sunday and the Capitals mounted their comeback without Alex Ovechkin, the NHL points leader.
Ovechkin received a game misconduct for driving Campbell into the boards with 7:44 left in the first period, and the two-time league MVP was suspended Monday for two games.
Campbell will miss seven to eight weeks with a broken collar bone and a fractured rib.
Blackhawks team doctor Michael Terry said Tuesday that Campbell -- sixth on the team with 38 points -- will likely avoid surgery and is expected to make a full recovery. The Blackhawks' regular season ends April 11.
Defense has been a concern lately for Chicago, loser of three of four, and the team needs Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to step up with seven of the next nine games away from the United Center.
The trip begins in Anaheim, where the Blackhawks lost 3-0 on Nov. 27 and have only two wins in 16 games.
The Ducks (31-29-8) are essentially out of the playoff picture -- they are 10 points back of eighth-place Detroit -- but are coming off an impressive 4-2 win over Western Conference-leading San Jose on Sunday. Anaheim snapped a five-game losing streak and avoided getting swept by the Sharks in the six-game season series.
"We've had bigger concerns than that specific statistic at this point," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We were just worried about winning the next one and the next one. We've proven to ourselves that we can play at a high level if we focus and get our mindset right. The work ethic is not something that's just going to happen."
Teemu Selanne scored his 599th goal, but left in the third period after losing his balance and slamming his head and left shoulder into the end boards. Selanne, who has three goals in two victories against the Blackhawks this season, is questionable for Wednesday.
Ryan Getzlaf, who leads the Ducks with 48 assists and 66 points, is also questionable because of inflammation in his sprained left ankle.