DUCKS (8-3-0) at BLUE JACKETS (5-5-0)
TV: PRIME, FS-O
Last 10: Ducks 8-2-0; Blue Jackets 5-5-0
Season series: Anaheim faces Columbus for the first time as an Eastern Conference opponent. The Ducks posted a record of 23-17-7 against the Blue Jackets while they were a member of the Western Conference from 2000-13, including an 11-10-2 mark in Ohio. Anaheim earned points in all three games against Columbus last season (1-0-2), including a 3-2 overtime loss on Mar. 31 at Nationwide Arena. Teemu Selanne leads Ducks skaters in career scoring vs. the Blue Jackets, earning 21-20=41 points in 39 games. This is the first of two meetings between the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets. The two teams will close out the season series at Honda Center on February 5.
Big story: The Ducks (8-3-0) are in the midst of a season-long eight-game, 15-day road trip. Anaheim has won eight of its last 10 games and outscored its opposition, 33-22 (shootout goals not included) in that span. Overall, Anaheim's 34 goals through the first 11 games is the second-best mark in team history, behind only the 2012-13 club that scored 37 in its first 11 contests. Following this evening's contest, the road trip will continue Tuesday with a 4 p.m. PDT game in Philadelphia. Anaheim's Eastern Conference swing will also include stops in Boston (Oct. 31), Buffalo (Nov. 2) and New York (Rangers, Nov. 4).
Ducks: Anaheim started this long road trek with back-to-back losses, but rebounded with a costly (see the injury report) 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks entered play Saturday 10th in the NHL in goals per game (3.1) and 10th in goals allowed per contest (2.5).
The Ducks lead the NHL in 5-on-5 scoring, scoring 28 goals in even-strength situations. In addition, the Ducks' 34 goals overall rank tied for fifth among NHL teams this season, while the club also ranks tied for seventh in goals-per-game average (3.09).
Blue Jackets: Columbus started the season with five losses in seven games, including a four-game losing streak in which it scored a total of six goals. But the offense has sprung to life in the past three contests with 12 goals.
Last season, the Blue Jackets yielded three shots on goal more per game than they were credited with, and their negative differential was 4.6 at even strength. That placed them 27th in the League, and forced them to rely heavily on Sergei Bobrovsky to keep them in games. Columbus has improved in this area in 2013-14, and after outshooting the Toronto Maple Leafs 36-25 on Friday night, the Blue Jackets now have 318 shots on goal for and 318 against this season.
Who's hot: Patrick Maroon has recorded points in a career-high four straight games (2-2=4) and is also riding a career-best two-game goal streak (2-0=2). Only Teemu Selanne has recorded a longer point streak (five games: 3-3=6 from Oct. 10-20) and goal streak (3 games: 3-0=3 from Oct. 16-20) for the Ducks this season. In only eight games, Maroon has bested his 2012-13 career best in points (2-1=3) and matched it in goals despite playing in five fewer contests this season. … Marian Gaborik has a goal in each of Columbus' three straight victories.
Injury update: Jakob Silfverberg suffered a broken right hand in Friday's game against Ottawa and is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Center Mathieu Perreault also sprained his left wrist in the contest and is listed as day-to-day. The Ducks already had four players -- defensemen Sheldon Souray (wrist) and Luca Sbisa (ankle), goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) and forward Matt Beleskey (upper body) on Injured Reserved. Dustin Penner has been symptom free for several days and joined the team in Columbus. … The Blue Jackets are missing a trio of forwards -- Nathan Horton (shoulder), Cody Bass (thumb) and Matt Calvert (abdomen) -- who are all on Injured Reserve.
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