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With a lead and 20 minutes to play, the Anaheim Ducks haven't had a problem. Getting to the third period with the advantage, though, has been a concern.
Anaheim looks to snap a two-game losing streak Sunday night as its hosts a New Jersey Devils club that just ended its two-game skid.
The Ducks (21-17-5) return to the Honda Center following a 4-3 loss to visiting Tampa Bay on Friday night. Anaheim has only five first-period goals in its last 10 games, going 3-5-2 during that stretch.
"Tonight, we were pretty flat in the first and it took us awhile to get going until midway through the second," Chris Pronger told the team's official Web site.
Anaheim is 14-0-0 this season when leading after two periods. In their last 10 games, though, the Ducks have led only once after 40 minutes - last Sunday's 2-0 win over Phoenix.
Pronger notched a second-period goal that made it 3-all, but backup Jonas Hiller gave up the game winner to Ryan Malone.
Hiller is 0-2-0 with a 3.72 GAA after three straight wins from Dec. 28-Jan. 6. He made 34 saves as Anaheim won 2-1 in the teams' last meeting on Feb. 8, 2008 in New Jersey.
If Jean-Sebastien Giguere gets the nod Sunday, he'll have to improve from his last five starts, a span in which he's 0-2-2 with a 3.62 GAA.
"Every chance (the Lightning) had, they seemed to put the puck in the back of the net on us," said All-Star defenseman Scott Niedermayer, who played his first 13 seasons with New Jersey.
Fellow All-Star starter Ryan Getzlaf extended his point streak to five games with an assist on Friday, but picked up a costly five-minute fighting penalty in the third with the game tied at 3. Getzlaf leads Anaheim with 49 points.
Rookie Bobby Ryan went scoreless on Friday, snapping a four-game point streak. The 21-year-old from Cherry Hill, N.J., had seven goals and eight assists in his previous 10 games. Ryan will be dropped to the second line as Corey Perry returns from a four-game suspension for throwing an elbow at Philadelphia's Claude Giroux on Jan. 2. Perry is second on the team with 34 points.
New Jersey is coming off a 5-1 victory over Los Angeles on Friday in the opener of its six-game road trip. After going 0-for-7 on the power play in a 4-0 loss to Atlanta on Thursday, the Devils (24-14-3) matched a season high with three man-advantage goals on Saturday.
Travis Zajac scored his first goal in seven games and added two assists while Patrik Elias, Jamie Langenbrunner and All-Star Zach Parise all had a goal and an assist against the Kings. Parise's goal was his team-leading 23rd and 100th of his career.
"We made it real simple tonight," Langenbrunner said. "We shot it quickly and didn't waste time trying to set up the perfect play."
In his first start since Dec. 13, Kevin Weekes made 34 saves. He won his last start against Anaheim - a 30-save effort with the New York Rangers in a 4-3 overtime victory on Nov. 1, 2006. Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen has never faced the Ducks.
In the teams' last meeting in Anaheim, the Ducks won 4-2 on Nov. 24, 2006.
|Jan 11 '09||NJD 3 at ANA 4||C. Kunitz|
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