COYOTES (11-3-2) at DUCKS (12-3-1)
TV: KTVK, FS-W
Last 10: Phoenix 7-1-2; Anaheim 7-2-1
Season series: Anaheim and Phoenix play the second game of a five-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks earned a 3-2 shootout victory in the series opener on October 18 in Anaheim. Three of the five series games will be played in Anaheim, including December 28 at Honda Center. The Ducks will also travel to Glendale for two games on November 23 and January 11 this season. Anaheim is 58-32-16 all-time vs. Phoenix, including a 33-15-7 mark at Honda Center. The Ducks went 1-1-2 against the Coyotes last season, splitting the two games played in Anaheim. Teemu Selanne leads all active Ducks with 77 points (37g/40a) in 81 games.
Big story: Two of the hottest teams in the league face each other in Anaheim. The Ducks return home after going 5-2-1 on an eight-game road trip, which helped them reach the top of the NHL standings. The Coyotes enter with a five-game winning streak, including three consecutive shootout victories.
Anaheim will also look to continue its home dominance, as the team has won its first five games at Honda Center, marking the most consecutive home wins to start a season in franchise history. Anaheim has outscored the opposition, 21-8 (excluding one shootout goal), at Honda Center, resulting in the team's longest home win streak since a 13-gamer from Jan. 26-Mar. 20, 2013. Anaheim's 21 goals through the first five home games matches the club record (also 2005-06), while its eight goals allowed are tied for the fewest in franchise history (also 2007-08, which excludes London game). The Ducks enter tonight's game as the league's only remaining undefeated team at home this season.
The Ducks also hope to have forward Teemu Selanne back in the lineup against the Coyotes. Selanne was hit in the mouth by a stick during Anaheim's 3-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 29, and has missed the last three games.
"I was lucky," said Selanne. "All of the four teeth I lost were fake ones. I already have all new ones. I was very lucky. My mouthguard really saved me in this case. I’m feeling good now. I’ve been skating a couple days, and today was the third day already. I’m anxious to get back."
Ducks: Anaheim completed its successful road trip Monday when it earned a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It was a happy homecoming for Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri, who scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 9:09 of the first period. Frederik Andersen was also fabulous for the Ducks in a 32-save effort.
"It was nice. I had a lot of family and friends here," said Palmieri, who was born in Smithtown, N.Y., before moving to Montvale, N.J. "People that supported me on my way up and throughout my career. It was nice to play in front of them."
Anaheim begins a three-game homestand. Wednesday will be the Ducks' first game at Honda Center since October 20.
"It ended up pretty good," said head coach Bruce Boudreau, regarding the team's road trip. "We were a little worried when you start the trip off 0-2 and you’ve got six more games. I think it says a lot about the character of the group. The Ottawa game was very tough, and we hung in and we just kept getting better and better after that. And then you start to believe you can win, and then they do.
"To me, it was a great trip. I was really worried when I looked at the schedule. It doesn’t stop. The next three games [at home] and then four more on the road is a really tough stretch, but instead of having 20 games to go through, we now have seven more to go to get through this stretch. It’s looking up."
Coyotes: Phoenix extended its winning streak to five games with a 3-2 shootout victory against the Vancouver Canucks at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday. The Coyotes' last three wins have come via the shootout, with Antoine Vermette scoring the game-winner in the sixth round against Vancouver.
Mike Smith made 31 saves through overtime, then denied Mike Santorelli, Chris Higgins, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Henrik Sedin in the shootout. Alexandre Burrows was the only Canuck to solve Smith in the breakaway competition.
The win improved Phoenix's home record to 7-0-1. They joined the Ducks and San Jose Sharks as the only teams yet to suffer a regulation loss at home this season.
“It was kind of a chess match and the chances weren’t the highest,” said Smith, who had to make 48 saves in San Jose on Saturday. “I think we learned a lot from the last game and we got another big two points.”
Who's hot: Ducks forward Corey Perry has four goals and an assist in his past five games, and Ryan Getzlaf has seven points (3g/4a) in his last eight games. Ducks rookie netminder Frederik Andersen is 4-0-0 with a 1.36 GAA and .952 SV%, and is one of only two Ducks goaltenders to win their first four NHL games (also Viktor Fasth in 2012-13). In addition, he is only the third active NHL goaltender to win his first four appearances, joining Fasth last season and Kari Lehtonen for Atlanta in March-April, 2004. Andersen leads NHL rookie netminders in wins, GAA, SV% and appearances this season (min. 2 games). ... Coyotes goaltender Smith is 8-0-2 in his past 10 appearances and has stopped 120-of-125 shots in his past three starts. Coyotes captain Shane Doan has three goals and two assists over the past five games.
Injury report: Ducks forward Matt Beleskey (thumb) skated Tuesday and is inching closer toward returning. Defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist), forwards Saku Koivu (head) and Jakob Silfverberg (hand), and goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) are on injured reserve.
Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris suffered an upper-body injury Tuesday but will try to play. Defenseman David Schlemko (lower body) is questionable and center Jeff Halpern (back) is on injured reserve.
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