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COYOTES (19-10-8) at DUCKS (27-7-5)
TV: KTVK, KDOC
Last 10: Phoenix 3-3-4; Anaheim 9-0-1
Season series: Anaheim and Phoenix play the fourth game of a five-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks are 3-0-0 vs. the Coyotes this season with Corey Perry scoring two of the three GWG. Anaheim owns an all-time record of 60-32-16 vs. Phoenix, including a 34-15-7 mark at Honda Center. Following tonight's game, the season series will shift to Glendale for the finale on Jan. 11.
Big story: The Pacific Division-leading Ducks (27-7-5, 59 points) host Phoenix in a brief one-game homestand tonight at Honda Center (5 p.m. PST, LA 56/AM 830). Second in the NHL with 59 points, the Ducks are riding a club-best nine-game win streak, the longest by a California team since San Jose won 11 straight from Feb. 21-Mar. 14, 2008. During the streak, Anaheim has allowed two goals or less in eight of the nine wins. Anaheim’s standings point streak sits at 12 games, the league’s longest since Pittsburgh (15-0-0) last March.
At 27-7-5, this marks the Ducks’ second-best start in franchise history (2006-07, 28-5-6). The Ducks also have points in 14 of 15 (12-1-2, 26) and 25 of 29 (20-4-5, 45). Anaheim owns the second-best record through 39 games in club history, behind only the 2006-07 team (28-5-6, 62 points). The Ducks' 125 goals scored are also the second most through 39 games in franchise history, behind only 2006-07 (136). The club ranks tied for second among NHL teams in goals (125) and second overall in even-strength goals (94). In addition, Anaheim is 5-2-0 in the first game of a back-to-back set, which concludes tomorrow in San Jose.
Ducks: Anaheim is playing tag with the Chicago Blackhawks in the race for the NHL's best record. Chicago has 60 points, one more than the Ducks, but Anaheim has a game in hand. Another advantage for the Ducks is the schedule: 26 of their remaining 43 games are at Honda Center, where they've taken home 28 of 30 possible points.
The Ducks' nine-game winning streak is two games longer than the previous franchise record.
"We've got to continue to improve, and get better," said head coach Bruce Boudreau after practice Friday. "If we continue to improve and get better, we're going to be fine. But if we stay the same, then we're not going to be fine, because the last half of the year the better teams always get better. That's why the hockey in March and April is so much better than it is in October. Our focus is on getting better."
Coyotes: Ten years after opening Jobing.com Arena with a loss to the Nashville Predators on Dec. 27, 2003, Phoenix did a little better Friday. The Coyotes didn't win, but the 4-3 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks did earn them a much-needed point, enough to move into Stanley Cup Playoff position in the Western Conference.
"We were up, we were down, we battled back, and when you get to the shootout anything can happen," said forward David Moss, who scored two of the Coyotes' goals. "We're playing a lot of close games and you'd like to get the two points, but we're right around it."
Who's hot: Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has three 4-point nights this season (also Oct. 20, 1g/3a and Nov. 8, 3g/1a), with the only other player with at least three 4-point efforts this season being DAL’s Tyler Seguin (four times). Getzlaf has points in the 17 of the last 19 games in which he has appeared (13g/15a). ... Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata has a goal in two of the past three games.
Injury report: Anaheim defensemen Luca Sbisa (hand) and Sheldon Souray (wrist), and goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) are out. ... Phoenix forward Shane Doan (illness) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (hip) are out.
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