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Last time the Detroit Red Wings visited Anaheim, the Ducks were the hot team. Times have changed.
The Red Wings look to continue their strong start Monday night when they visit the slumping Ducks.
Detroit's last trip to Anaheim ended with a 4-3 loss in Game 6 of last season's Western Conference finals as it was eliminated from postseason play with three consecutive defeats. The Ducks (2-4-1) went on to win the Stanley Cup in five games over Ottawa.
The Red Wings (4-1-1) already defeated Anaheim 3-2 in a shootout at home to open the 2007-08 season on Oct. 3, and are coming off a 4-1 victory at Los Angeles on Sunday. Backup goaltender Chris Osgood made 27 saves to help Detroit rebound from a 3-2 loss to Chicago on Friday, when it had squandered a two-goal first-period lead.
"To come into another team's building and your goalie makes some big saves, it gives you that calming influence," said Red Wings center Kris Draper, who scored his fourth goal of the season against the Kings. "The previous games, we kind of let a team get back into it."
Detroit is likely to have Dominik Hasek back in goal after he rested Sunday. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner is 2-1-1 with a 2.42 goals-against average in four starts this season.
Hasek stumbled in the final three playoff defeats to the Ducks, allowing 10 goals. The Red Wings managed only seven goals in those games after outscoring Anaheim 10-5 in the first three contests of the series.
Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom, who each scored a goal in the Oct. 3 matchup, were held to one total goal in the final three losses to the Ducks in the playoffs. Zetterberg, Detroit's top scorer last season with 33 goals, has found the back of the net four times through six games in 2007-08, while Holmstrom leads the team with five scores after netting a career-high 30 goals last season.
The Ducks will try to rebound from Sunday's 2-0 loss to Minnesota, another team they eliminated from the playoffs on the way to the Cup. It was Anaheim's fourth loss in five games.
"That's going to be the thing with us this year," Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell said. "When you win the Cup, every team we play - when we come to town or when they come here - it's going to be their 'statement game.' We're kind of the measuring stick against other teams now. So I'm sure we're going to get every the other team's best effort every single time. We've just got to push ourselves and rise above that."
The Ducks are struggling to produce on the power play, as they went 0-for-8 with the man advantage against the Wild. They are now 5-for-39 (7.8 percent) on the power play after finishing tied for second in the NHL last season with a 22.4 percent conversion rate.
Anaheim is expected to have Jean-Sebastien Giguere in net for a second consecutive game after he made 23 saves Sunday in his season debut. The goaltender, who recorded a franchise-record 36 victories last season and 13 more in the playoffs, missed the first six games of the season after undergoing sports hernia surgery.
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