JETS (22-23-5) at DUCKS (37-9-5)
TV: TSN-JETS, PRIME
Last 10: Winnipeg 5-5-0; Anaheim 9-1-0
Season series: Anaheim hosts the Winnipeg Jets for the first time since the franchise moved from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 NHL season. The Ducks are 8-6-1 all-time vs. the Jets/Thrashers franchise, including a 3-3-1 mark at Honda Center. The last time a Winnipeg team visited Honda Center was Apr. 14, 1996 when the Ducks skated to a 5-2 victory over the original Jets club. Tonight is the second of a three-game season series between Anaheim and Winnipeg. The series opened on Oct. 6 in Winnipeg, a 3-2 Ducks win. These two teams meet again Mar. 31 in Anaheim.
Big story: The NHL-leading Ducks open a two-game homestand vs. Winnipeg Tuesday night at Honda Center (7 p.m., PRIME TICKET/AM 830). The Ducks have won 19 of 21 games (19-2-0) and nine of their last 10 (9-1-0). The team is 9-2-0 on the road and 10-0-0 at Honda Center during the current 21-game stretch. Anaheim has 10 comeback wins in the last 21 games, four of those from two-goal deficits. The Ducks, who have points in 22 of 24 games (20-2-2), are 13-1-2 vs. the Pacific Division and a league-best 21-4-2 (.815 points %) vs. the Western Conference. At 37-9-5 for 79 points, Anaheim is riding its best start to a season through 51 games, besting the previous mark of 31-12-8 for 70 points in 2006-07. In addition, the Ducks have also scored the most goals (173) and allowed the fewest (122) through 51 games in club history.
Ducks: Anaheim (79 points) remains the top team in the league with wins in nine of its past 10 games and should benefit from a brief two-game homestand against the Jets and a Stadium Series-tune-up game against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. The Ducks' eight-game winning streak ended with a loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday, but they bounced back with a 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues.
The Ducks face Western-conference opponents in eight of the next 10 games and the players are aware that the level of competition will continue to increase.
“We need propel ourselves to get the first win of the week and have a strong effort,” said Andrew Cogliano. “Because if you don’t, things can snowball the other way and you can get into bad habits. You can’t play LA when you’re not playing at the top of your game.”
After the Jets relieved Claude Noel of his head coaching duties last week [who has since been replaced by Paul Maurice], Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri expects the Jets to come out flying.
“With the shakeup they had last week, and the new coach, they’re a team that’s hungry to win,” he said. “With the record we have at home, coaches have said it numerous times that we’re the guys with a target on our backs. Coming into this building, everyone wants to be the team that ruins the streak. Right now, we have a team that’s focused on each game. There hasn’t been a time this season when we’ve looked past an opponent.”
Jets: Winnipeg has not lost since it fired coach Claude Noel on Jan. 12 and replaced him with Maurice. The Jets will look to extend their winning streak to four when they visit an Anaheim team they have defeated three of the past four games, dating back to when the team played as the Atlanta Thrashers.
The outlook has changed for the better since Maurice was brought on and the players are seeing better results due to the new leadership.
"The whole group I don't think was the most confident group when [Maurice] got here," captain Andrew Ladd said. "He has done a good job of building us up and letting us know we're good hockey players."
The Jets will be close to full strength with the return of forward Evander Kane from a cut on his hand. Kane is third on the team with 14 goals.
Who's Hot: Ducks right wing Corey Perry has five goals and seven assists in his past eight games and will seek to extend his point streak to four. ... Jets rookie defenseman Jacob Trouba has three goals in the past two games.
Injury Report: Ducks defensemen Sheldon Souray underwent season-ending surgery on his wrist on Friday, and goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) remains on injured reserve. ... Jets defenseman Paul Postma (blood clot in leg) practiced Monday and is questionable for Tuesday. Defenseman Grant Clitsome (back surgery), center Jim Slater (sports hernia surgery) and right wing Matt Halischuk (right forearm surgery).
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