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GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (25-26-9-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (13-44-6-4).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Another game, another dubious distinction is in sight for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins will look to avoid matching the longest home winless streak in league history when they take on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Pittsburgh already set an NHL record with 14 straight home losses, three more than any other team. The Penguins snapped that slide with a 3-3 tie Tuesday against the New York Islanders, but are winless in their last 16 at home (0-15-1).
The Penguins can match the record for longest home winless streak with a tie or a loss against the Mighty Ducks. Both the 1995-96 Ottawa Senators and the 1999-2000 Atlanta Thrashers suffered through 0-15-2 slides.
Earlier in the season, the Penguins became the first team to lose 18 straight games, although they avoided the official record by earning a point in an overtime loss on Feb. 14.
"I never felt any extra pressure before, but we still want to win every game," forward Ryan Malone said. "Hopefully we can get a couple more victories at home for our fans."
The Penguins will have to shore up their penalty-killing if they hope to avoid the record. Pittsburgh allowed a team-record six power-play goals in Thursday's 9-4 loss to Nashville.
The Penguins have killed off just 71.6 percent of the power plays against them at home (91-for-127).
However, prior to Thursday's lopsided loss, the Penguins had killed 18 of their previous 21 short-handed situations (85.7 percent), going 2-1-1 in that span.
"Over the last few games the penalty kill was really good and was winning us games," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "I don't want to say we're back to our old ways, because the confidence is still pretty high."
The Mighty Ducks are coming off Friday's 5-2 win over Chicago. Anaheim has lost just three of its last 14 (9-3-1-1).
Rob Niedermayer, who recently missed 15 games with a groin injury, scored for the first time since Jan. 24, and Petr Sykora added his first goal in nine games for the Ducks, who also got a goal from Sergei Fedorov.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 65 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Pacific Division. Penguins - 36 points, 5th place, 52 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Fedorov, 24 goals, 31 assists and 55 points; Garrett Burnett, 129 PIM. Penguins - Malone, 20 goals; Dick Tarnstrom, 25 assists and 37 points; Orpik, 113 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 4): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.5 percent (43 for 261), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85 percent (244 for 287), 7th. Penguins - Power play: 14.9 percent (45 for 303), 24th. Penalty killing: 75.5 percent (234 for 310), 30th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (15-25-5, 3 SO, 2.57 GAA); Martin Gerber (10-9-4, 2, 2.28). Penguins - Jean-Sebastien Aubin (2-8-0, 0, 3.25); Andy Chiodo (2-4-1, 3.80);
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 15, 2002; Mighty Ducks, 5-0. At Anaheim, Andy McDonald scored two goals and Matt Cullen had four assists for Anaheim. Giguere stopped 19 shots for his team-record third straight shutout.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 8-19-3-4 on the road; Penguins - 7-22-4-0 at home.
|Mar 06 '04||ANA 1 at PIT 2||M. Bradley|