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WILD (18-9-5) at DUCKS (21-7-5)
TV: FS-N, FS-W
Last 10: Minnesota 5-4-1; Anaheim 6-1-3
Season series: Anaheim and Minnesota play the second of a three-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks earned a 4-3 OT victory on Oct. 5 at Xcel Energy Center, courtesy of a two-point performance and overtime winner from Mathieu Perreault. Anaheim owns an all-time record of 23-16-9 vs. the Wild, including a 14-7-2 mark at Honda Center. Anaheim enters tonight's game on a club-best five-game winning streak vs. Minnesota, having swept last season's three-game set (3-0-0) along with a 2-1 win on Feb. 14, 2012. In addition, the Ducks have won two straight at Honda Center over the Wild. Teemu Selanne leads Anaheim skaters in career scoring vs. the Wild, collecting 32 points (11g/21a) in 42 games. The season series will conclude on Jan. 28 at Honda Center.
Big story: The Ducks are the only team without a regulation loss at home, where they are 11-0-2. Their 5-2 win against the New York Islanders at Honda Center on Monday was the sixth straight game in which they earned at least a point. The victory pulled Anaheim even with the Chicago Blackhawks atop the league standings with 47 points, but Chicago reclaimed the lead by beating the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
In addition to having earned points in their last six contests, the Ducks have earned standings points in eight of their last nine games (6-1-2) and 19 of the last 23 (14-4-5), which includes an NHL season-best (w/SJ) nine-game standings point streak from Oct. 25-Nov. 10. The club ranks second in goals (104) and even-strength goals (76) to Chicago. On the PK, Anaheim is 34-for-36 (94.4%) dating back to the third period on Nov. 20 vs. NJ. The club killed 26 straight from Nov. 20-Dec. 6, spanning eight games. On the PP, the Ducks are 10-for-32 (31%), also since Nov. 20 vs. NJ.
Minnesota's victory against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday improved its record at Xcel Energy Center to 13-3-2, but the Wild will be on the road for their next three games and seven of their next eight, hoping to improve on a 5-6-3 record away from home. They are the only team in the NHL with at least 40 points and a road record below .500.
The Wild are in sixth place in the Western Conference, six points behind the second-place Ducks.
"The West is so tight that every game like this matters," Ducks center Andrew Cogliano said Tuesday. "Things are heightened because teams are so good. It's a big game for us. We want to continue winning at home."
Ducks: After a slow start, the Ducks scored two goals in the final 33 seconds of the second period Monday that essentially sealed the win against the slumping Islanders. The win was Anaheim's third straight, including road wins against the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.
"We're only human, and we knew last week was a big emotional week for us," said forward Corey Perry, who scored twice. "Those were big games for us, but we had to get ourselves up for this one as well."
PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF: Reunited for the first time since Anaheim’s 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship run, the line of Dustin Penner, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have combined for 40 points (21g/19a) over the last 12 games (since Nov. 15). The trio has scored 95 points (45g/50a) in 2013-14 overall, leading the NHL in combined goals and ranking second in the NHL only to Pittsburgh’s line of Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in combined points (112). In addition, Getzlaf and Perry lead the league in goals scored by a duo on the same team (36). They are second in combined points (72) behind only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (81). The duo tallied goals in the same game on Dec. 7 at St. Louis for the eighth time this season, tied with the Blues' tandem of Alexander Steen and David Backes for the highest total among a pair of NHL teammates (Elias Sports Bureau).
Wild: Minnesota coach Mike Yeo is calling on his team to cut down on turnovers.
"We just can't continue to turn pucks over in the neutral zone," he said Tuesday, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "We can't continue to turn pucks over on the wall and expect to No. 1 win games, but to create offense, to get to the offensive zone, to draw penalties. All these areas where we're lacking -- the shots on goal, the chances, the drawing penalties -- it's all a direct result of the neutral-zone turnovers we've had lately. It's a focus for everybody."
Yeo also wants more from his second line, which will have a different look against Anaheim. Jason Zucker was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League. He skated with Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle at practice Tuesday.
Dany Heatley (six goals, four assists, minus-9) was demoted to the fourth line and will skate with Zenon Konopka and Justin Fontaine. He also will get some ice time on other lines, Yeo said.
Who's hot: Perry is currently riding a career-best six-game goal streak (7g/2a). The streak is tied for the longest in the NHL this season with STL's Steen and TB's Stamkos. Getzlaf has points in the last 14 games in which he has appeared, collecting 21 points (10g/11a) in that span (missed three games with an upper-body injury, Nov. 10-14). While the 14-game streak is not an official point streak because he missed three games, it marks his longest streak since a career-high 15 games from Dec. 22, 2007-Jan. 23, 2008 (6g/16a). In addition, Getzlaf has a current 12-game point streak (6g/9a, recognized by NHL), which is the longest active streak in the NHL and one game shy of matching the NHL's longest this season (STL's Steen, 13 games from Oct. 17-Nov. 16).
Wild forward Zach Parise scored twice Sunday. His 14 goals have him tied with Jason Pominville for the team lead. Pominville has a point in four of five games (one goal, three assists).
Injury report: Ducks defenseman Mark Fistric (upper body) is out. Perreault (lower body) hopes to skate Wednesday, practice over the weekend and return Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers. Defensemen Sheldon Souray (wrist), Francois Beauchemin (upper body) and Luca Sbisa (hand), forward Jakob Silfverberg (hand) and goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) remain on IR. ... Wild center Mikael Granlund (concussion) is on injured reserve
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