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Morning Report: All Eyes on Anaheim

Friday, 01.17.2014 / 11:18 AM PT / News
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Morning Report: All Eyes on Anaheim
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 CHI 58 36 18 4 160 134 76
2 DAL 55 35 15 5 178 147 75
3 STL 57 31 17 9 138 133 71
4 LAK 54 33 18 3 151 128 69
5 COL 58 29 25 4 155 160 62
6 SJS 53 28 20 5 154 143 61
7 ANA 53 26 19 8 120 125 60
8 NSH 55 25 21 9 142 148 59
9 ARI 54 25 23 6 143 164 56
10 MIN 54 23 21 10 133 134 56
11 VAN 54 22 20 12 125 144 56
12 CGY 54 25 26 3 144 160 53
13 WPG 54 24 27 3 139 157 51
14 EDM 56 22 29 5 138 168 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Getzlaf 49 5 35 9 40
C. Perry 53 21 17 -4 38
R. Rakell 50 13 15 -3 28
R. Kesler 53 11 15 -8 26
S. Vatanen 53 6 19 -1 25
C. Stewart 47 8 10 2 18
J. Silfverberg 53 6 12 -2 18
A. Cogliano 53 6 11 -9 17
H. Lindholm 52 6 8 -6 14
C. Fowler 40 3 9 -10 12
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
F. Andersen 11 8 6 .920 2.30
J. Gibson 12 8 2 .917 2.13

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