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Doing just enough to win on the road has helped the Anaheim Ducks set a franchise record.
The Ducks (24-3-6) will try to extend their record road winning streak to seven games Wednesday when they meet Marian Hossa and the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Five of Anaheim's last six road wins have been one-goal decisions. The only other victory in that span was a 6-1 rout of Washington on Friday in the opener of its current five-game road swing, which ends Saturday at San Jose.
Eight of the Ducks' 11 total road wins have been by one goal, including a 5-4 victory Tuesday over last-place Florida. Chris Pronger scored twice in the third period, with his second goal snapping a 4-all tie with 9 minutes left.
It was the first multigoal game for the 2000 Hart and Norris Trophy winner since March 5, when he was with Edmonton.
"That's the way it has been here all year," said Pronger, who leads all defensemen this season with 27 assists and 31 points. "It's not always pretty, but we're finding ways to win."
With 54 points, Anaheim is off to the NHL's best start after 33 games since the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, who finished with a league-high 116 points but were upset by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup finals.
The Ducks' Teemu Selanne was held without a point for just the third time since Nov. 10, but still leads the league in scoring since then with 13 goals - seven on the power play - and 13 assists. He has four goals and two assists against Atlanta, but hasn't scored a point in four games against the Thrashers dating back to Nov. 1, 2001, when he was with the Sharks.
Overall, Selanne is tied with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for third in league with 41 points - one less than Hossa.
Against the Penguins on Saturday, Hossa scored early in the third period to tie the score at 2, but the Thrashers lost 4-3 in overtime. With 22 goals, Hossa is tied with Brendan Shanahan for the league lead. Hossa also has 13 power-play goals, tying him with Toronto's Darcy Tucker for the league best.
The Southeast Division-leading Thrashers have given up 12 goals in consecutive losses after tying a franchise record with five straight wins.
Atlanta (18-8-5) is third in the Eastern Conference with 104 goals scored, and added another offensive-minded player Tuesday when they recalled center Jason Krog from the minors for the second time this season.
Krog, who plays with Chicago of the AHL, leads that league with 19 goals and 52 points in 25 games. He scored for Atlanta early in the first period of a 3-2 overtime loss Nov. 24 to Tampa Bay.
The 31-year-old center played two seasons with Anaheim, totaling 16 goals and 27 assists in 147 games from 2002-04.
Atlanta is just 3-6-0 all time versus Anaheim and has been held to two goals or less in each of those losses.
|Dec 13 '06||ANA 2 at ATL 1||T. Selanne|