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Morning Report: Looking for a Season Sweep

Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 1:55 PM / News
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Morning Report: Looking for a Season Sweep
It\u2019s not too often you see two division rivals close out a season series in January, but that\u2019s the case tonight as the Ducks and Coyotes play their fifth and final game against one another this season.
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

It’s not too often you see two division rivals close out a season series in January, but that’s the case tonight as the Ducks and Coyotes play their fifth and final game against one another this season. The Ducks have taken the first four contests, three at Honda Center and one at Jobing.com Arena.

Tonight’s game also concludes Anaheim’s two-game road trip and opens the start of the club’s ninth set of back-to-backs (they play at home tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings).

After yet another comeback victory two nights ago in Nashville, the league-leading Ducks hold a four-point cushion over the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, who sit second and third, respectively. At 33-8-5 (71 points), the Ducks are riding their best start to a season through 46 games, besting the previous mark of 30-9-7 for 67 points in 2006-07.

And within the Pacific Division, the Ducks have a slightly bigger lead, nine points as of today, over second-place San Jose (62 points). The Coyotes sit fifth in the division and ninth in the Western Conference with 51 points, just two points out of eighth place.

The Ducks will look to jump all over a Coyotes team that’s playing sub-.500 hockey over their past 10 games (3-3-4). But if they give up the first goal, Ducks fans need not worry, as the Ducks are a league-best 14-5-1 (.725) when their opponent scores first. No other NHL team owns a .500-or-better record when allowing the first goal. This is in addition to being 19-3-4 when scoring the first goal.

"It’s confidence," said Teemu Selanne. "Like [Thursday], we were down two goals and it didn’t really bother us. We kept coming. Everybody is doing their jobs. That’s the key for us."

If the Ducks win tonight, they'll sweep the Coyotes for the second time in the franchise's 20-year history. It last occurred during the inaugural 1993-94 season, when Anaheim won all four games against the Coyotes.

HILLER TIME
First off the ice this morning was Jonas Hiller, who will be going for his 13th consecutive victory tonight against the Coyotes. The Swiss netminder owns a club-record 12 straight victories (12-0-0) to become the first NHL goaltender to win 12 consecutive starts/games in a single season since New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, who won 12 straight from Oct. 23-Nov. 20, 1997 (Stats Inc.).

Hiller, who is tied for fourth among league leaders in wins (21), was named the NHL's Third Star of December after finishing the month leading the league in wins (9-0-1), while also posting a 1.96 GAA and .929 SV% in 10 games.

Despite recalling prospect John Gibson from the club’s AHL affiliate in Norfolk yesterday, head coach Bruce Boudreau said there’s a chance Hiller also plays tomorrow night against the Red Wings, depending on how he feels after tonight’s game.

LINEUP NOTES
After sitting last game, Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg will be back in the lineup against the Coyotes, according to Boudreau. Dustin Penner will also draw back into the lineup after missing Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury. Penner saw time on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry during the morning line rushes.

Selanne will sit tonight, but will play tomorrow at home against the Detroit Red Wings.

DUCKS-COYOTES
Anaheim and Phoenix conclude a five-game season series tonight with the Ducks having won all four games (4-0-0). The Ducks have held the Coyotes to two goals in each of the four games, while outscoring them 14-8 (one shootout goal excluded). The Ducks are 61-32-16 all-time vs. the Coyotes, including 26-17-9 in Arizona.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 59 19 39 9 58
C. Perry 47 24 17 12 41
R. Kesler 62 15 22 -4 37
S. Vatanen 57 12 22 6 34
M. Beleskey 56 21 9 13 30
P. Maroon 54 7 21 -3 28
H. Lindholm 59 6 22 19 28
J. Silfverberg 61 9 17 7 26
C. Fowler 61 5 21 -5 26
K. Palmieri 37 12 11 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 29 8 5 .916 2.37
J. Gibson 6 5 0 .915 2.69

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