Morning Report: All Eyes on Anaheim

Friday, 01.17.2014 / 2:18 PM / News
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Morning Report: All Eyes on Anaheim
The NHL-leading Ducks will be the center of attention tonight as they open a two-game road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the regular season.
By Kyle Shohara
AnaheimDucks.com

The NHL-leading Ducks will be the center of attention tonight as they open a two-game road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the regular season.

Tonight’s game features the top two teams in the NHL, with Anaheim holding a six-point standings lead over Chicago (30-8-11, 71 points). The Ducks (36-8-5, 77 points) enter tonight’s game as winners of eight in a row and 18 of 19 overall, including a 9-1 drubbing over the Canucks two nights ago. The Blackhawks are 4-1-5 in their past 10 games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at home to Colorado on Tuesday.

It’s been a storybook season thus far for the Ducks, who joined the 1967-68 Montreal Canadiens as the only teams in NHL history to win 18-of-19 games (both 18-1-0). Coupled with a 10-game streak from Dec. 6-28, Anaheim now owns the two longest win streaks in the NHL this season. The Ducks own three win streaks of seven-or-more games, marking the first team to do so since Detroit in 2007-08.

"It's pretty neat that it's happened, but you play so many games in a row in this league, you don't have time to sit back and enjoy it," said head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We're glad where it's gotten us. It's pulled us away, a little bit, from the eighth-place team in our conference. It's given us a little bit of breathing room. That's the main thing."

Boudreau says his team has to play its best hockey against the Blackhawks and Blues in order to be successful. “If you don’t play your best hockey coming into Chicago and then going into St. Louis, you’re in trouble. We played really good the first time here, and we played exceptionally good in St. Louis that night. It just got us playing on a level where we knew we had to stay. We ended up doing it for a little while.”
 
Jonas Hiller
, who sat out Wednesday’s game due to illness, is expected to get the start in net tonight. He’ll enter the game riding a club-record 14-game winning streak, matching the second-longest streak all-time in an NHL single season.

Also expected to play is defenseman Bryan Allen, who’s missed the past five games with a lower-body injury. Mark Fistric will likely be the scratch on defense, along with forward Patrick Maroon, who’ll be replaced by Kyle Palmieri.

EXPECTED LINE COMBINATIONS
Dustin Penner - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Matt Beleskey - Nick Bonino - Teemu Selanne
Daniel Winnik - Saku Koivu - Andrew Cogliano
Kyle Palmieri - Mathieu Perreault – Jakob Silfverberg

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin
Bryan Allen - Sami Vatanen

HANDLING THE HAWKS
The Ducks have won five straight over the Blackhawks, including three consecutive in Chicago. Their most recent victory came Dec. 6, a 3-2 shootout win, at United Center. The Ducks went on to beat the Blues in St. Louis the next night, 5-2. The Ducks hope it will be a familiar feeling this weekend, as they face the Blues at Scottrade Center tomorrow.

DUCKS-BLACKHAWKS
Anaheim and Chicago play the second of a three-game season series tonight at the United Center. Anaheim is 43-26-9 all-time vs. Chicago, including 20-16-5 in Illinois. The season series will conclude Feb. 5 at Honda Center.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 77 31 56 28 87
C. Perry 81 43 39 32 82
N. Bonino 77 22 27 14 49
M. Perreault 69 18 25 13 43
A. Cogliano 82 21 21 13 42
C. Fowler 70 6 30 15 36
K. Palmieri 71 14 17 9 31
D. Winnik 76 6 24 6 30
H. Lindholm 78 6 24 29 30
S. Koivu 65 11 18 3 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 20 5 0 .923 2.29
J. Hiller 29 13 7 .911 2.48

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