While it took the Anaheim Ducks five games to secure their first win of the season, they're hoping they won't have to wait quite as long to get their second.
The Ducks look to make it two in a row as they conclude a three-game homestand with a matchup against the struggling Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
Anaheim (1-4-0) has reached the playoffs three straight years - winning the Stanley Cup in 2006-07 - and entered this season with similar expectations. But the team lost its first four games to inch closer to the worst start in franchise history - an 0-4-1 stretch to open 2003-04.
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The Ducks, though, avoided a five-game slide with a 4-0 home victory over San Jose on Friday. Francois Beauchemin, Chris Pronger, Travis Moen and Samuel Pahlsson each provided a goal, while Rob Niedermayer contributed two assists to back Jean-Sebastien Giguere's 38-save performance.
The goaltender also helped kill off seven penalties for Anaheim, which had surrendered seven power-play goals in 25 chances during the losing streak.
"We got our first win and we're happy with it," Giguere, who gave up 13 goals through the first three contests, told the Ducks' official Web site. "The last game (a 3-2 loss to Edmonton) was a starting point. Now we just have to keep going forward and try to put some good games together."
To pick up back-to-back victories, however, Anaheim must resume its strong play at the Honda Center, where it went 28-9-4 last season for the second-best home record in the league. The Ducks established a franchise-best 10-game winning streak there from Feb. 17-March 26.
Giguere was key to the Ducks' overall home success in 2007-08, going 19-7-3 with a 2.00 GAA and a .920 save percentage in 29 games.
Meanwhile, Carolina (2-1-1) posted a 19-20-2 road record last season, one likely contributor to the team's absence from the playoffs for a second straight year after winning the Stanley Cup in 2005-06.
The Hurricanes were off to a promising start in winning the first two games of this season, but have dropped their last two.
On Friday, Ryan Bayda, Dan LaCouture and Matt Cullen scored during a 6-minute, 20-second span in the second period to give the Hurricanes a two-goal lead, but they eventually suffered a 4-3 overtime defeat at Los Angeles - the first stop on their season-high six-game road trip.
"We had an opportunity and didn't bury it. They had an opportunity and buried it," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said.
Aside from capitalizing on its chances, Laviolette is hoping his club can correct its inefficiencies on the power play.
Carolina, which led the NHL with 420 power-play opportunities and converted on 18.8 percent of those chances last season, has gone 0-for-9 with the man advantage in its two losses.
Cam Ward allowed all four goals on 24 shots Friday, and has given up 10 goals on 92 shots through three starts.
In his lone career appearance versus the Ducks, Ward stopped 25 of 27 shots in a 4-2 home victory on Dec. 29. 2006 in the teams' most recent matchup.
Giguere is 1-2-0 with a tie and a 3.07 GAA in five all-time games versus the Hurricanes. He was a first-round pick for Hartford in 1995, two years before the franchise relocated to Carolina.
The Ducks won four straight games against the Hurricanes from Feb. 9, 2003-Feb. 4, 2004, but have lost the last two meetings.
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