Real practice days are rare in this compressed NHL schedule, so much so that Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau couldn't pinpoint when his team actually had one.

Before Tuesday, that is, when the Ducks "went back to basics," right wing Teemu Selanne said, and worked on some of their failings from consecutive shootout losses on the road to the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Ducks played seven games in 11 days through Wednesday.

"I don't know when the last time we practiced was," Boudreau said "I think it was when we had all those days off (five in a row, Feb. 19-23).

"Considering this seven-in-11, you've got to pick your spots, and I thought today was a good day to get back to basics."

The Ducks play the Coyotes again Wednesday night, this time at Honda Center, the third consecutive game between the top two teams in the Pacific Division standings.

"We had to clean some things up," defenseman Cam Fowler said, noting some slippage system-wise as well as fundamentally, "and we know we didn't give our best effort (in Arizona)."

All NHL teams are facing tough stretches, which is likely why Boudreau won't condone poor play because of fatigue.

"It's an excuse," he said.

But Selanne said that, "when the body is tired, you start taking short-cuts, and usually bad things happen. That's why we had to go back and work on things today."

There was a long time in the NHL that earning a hard-fought point on the road, as the Ducks did each game in Arizona, was considered a positive. But that was before regular-season overtime and shootouts.

"That's the way the game is today," Fowler said of shootout losses. "However you want to characterize it, it's a loss."