DUCKS (32-8-5) at PREDATORS (19-19-6)
TV: PRIME, FS-TN
Last 10: Anaheim 9-1-0; Nashville 3-4-3
Season series: Anaheim and Nashville open a three-game season series tonight at Bridgestone Arena. The Ducks are 30-18-7 vs. the Predators, including a 10-13-4 mark in Nashville. Last year, Anaheim swept its three-game season series vs. Nashville (3-0-0). The season series will feature an additional game in Nashville on Feb. 8 before the finale on Apr. 4 at Honda Center.
Big story: The NHL-leading Ducks open a two-game road trip against Nashville tonight at Bridgestone Arena (5 p.m. PST, PRIME TICKET/AM 830). With a 32-8-5 record for 69 points, Anaheim is in the midst of its best start to a season through 45 games, besting the previous mark of 29-9-7 for 65 points in 2006-07. The Ducks have won 14 of their last 15 games (14-1-0) for the first time in club history and joined Pittsburgh as the first two teams to reach 30 wins this season. Anaheim, which has points in 17 of the last 18 games (15-1-2), is 6-2-0 vs. the Central Division and a league-leading 17-3-2 (.818 points %) vs. the Western Conference. Following tonight's game, the Ducks will conclude their road trip on Jan. 11 at Phoenix.
Slowly but surely the Predators are scratching and clawing their way back into the Western Conference postseason race. To earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Nashville, which has earned points in five of its past six games, will need to hop over the Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks.
Ducks: Anaheim has won nine of 10 and is 18-0-2 at home this season. The Pacific Division leaders went 4-0-0 on a four-game homestand against fellow Stanley Cup contenders the San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins.
The Ducks scored 20 goals in the four games and had at least four goals in each.
"It shows we can play with anybody," said Mathieu Perreault. "Even when we play the better teams in the League, we’re able to stand up and win games. It feels like we find ways to win games no matter what."
Anaheim, which has a nine-point lead over second-place San Jose in the Pacific, has lost one game in regulation since Thanksgiving.
Predators: After losing in regulation once in its previous five games, Nashville opened a five-game homestand at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday with a 3-2 win against San Jose.
Picking up points over the past two weeks has enabled the Predators to creep up on the Stars and Wild in the Central Division, but they remain seven points back of playoff position.
This game is followed by visits from the Ottawa Senators and Minnesota.
Who's hot: Ducks center Nick Bonino has three goals and four assists in the past four games. ... Predators defenseman Shea Weber has seven points in the past four games.
Injury report: Ducks forward Dustin Penner (upper body) is questionable. Defensemen Bryan Allen (lower body), Luca Sbisa (hand) and Sheldon Souray (wrist) are on injured reserve. … Predators forward Patric Hornqvist (lower body) is questionable. Goaltender Pekka Rinne (infection in hip) is expected to be out until late February.
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