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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 NSH 49 32 11 6 149 115 70
2 ANA 50 32 12 6 147 134 70
3 STL 49 32 13 4 160 120 68
4 CHI 50 31 17 2 155 115 64
5 SJS 50 27 17 6 139 135 60
6 WPG 51 26 17 8 142 132 60
7 VAN 48 27 18 3 131 124 57
8 CGY 50 27 20 3 144 129 57
9 LAK 49 21 16 12 134 132 54
10 DAL 49 23 19 7 157 159 53
11 COL 50 21 18 11 131 141 53
12 MIN 49 23 20 6 135 140 52
13 ARI 50 18 26 6 116 170 42
14 EDM 50 13 28 9 115 166 35

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 15 35 7 50
C. Perry 35 19 13 13 32
R. Kesler 50 13 19 -3 32
S. Vatanen 50 10 20 3 30
M. Beleskey 49 19 7 11 26
P. Maroon 42 6 19 1 25
C. Fowler 49 5 18 2 23
H. Lindholm 49 5 16 12 21
J. Silfverberg 50 6 13 2 19
R. Rakell 39 5 12 2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 27 7 5 .918 2.27
J. Gibson 2 2 0 .927 2.28

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