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WILD (28-20-6) at DUCKS (39-10-5)
TV: FS-N, PRIME
Last 10: Minnesota 6-3-1; Anaheim 8-2-0
Season series: Anaheim and Minnesota conclude a three-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks are 2-0-0 vs. the Wild this season, including a 4-3 OT win on Oct. 5 at Xcel Energy Center and a 2-1 win on Dec. 11 at Honda Center. Anaheim owns an all-time record of 24-16-9 vs. the Wild, including a 15-7-2 mark at Honda Center. Anaheim is riding a club-best six-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 three straight at Honda Center over the Wild.
Tonight marks the 19th game all-time between brothers Saku and Mikko Koivu. In 18 career NHL contests vs. his brother, Saku has scored seven points (3g/7a) and is 9-3-3 with Anaheim and 2-0-1 with Montreal for a combined 11-3-4 vs. the Wild. In 18 career contests vs. Saku, Mikko has scored 12 points (4g/8a). The Wild has posted a 7-10-1 record vs. Saku’s teams in those games.
Big story: The NHL-leading Ducks open a season-tying five-game homestand vs. Minnesota tonight (7 p.m., PRIME TICKET/AM 830). The Ducks have gone 21-3-0 in their last 24 games, including an 11-1-0 mark at Honda Center and 10-2-0 road record. Anaheim has 11 comeback wins in the last 24 games, four of those from two-goal deficits. The Ducks are 15-1-2 vs. the Pacific Division and a league-best 23-5-2 (.800 points %) vs. the Western Conference.
At 39-10-5 for 83 points, Anaheim is riding its best start to a season through 54 games, improving upon the previous mark of 33-13-8 for 74 points in 2006-07. The Ducks have also scored the most goals (180) and allowed the fewest (126) through 54 games in club history. Anaheim has gone a league-best 15-for-53 (28.3) on the power play in January and has also killed 40-of-45 power play opportunities (88.9) for the NHL's third-best mark this month.
Following tonight’s contest, the Ducks will continue their homestand with games vs. Philadelphia (Jan. 30), Dallas (Feb. 1), Columbus (Feb. 3) and Chicago (Feb. 5).
Ducks: Anaheim has won two in a row after losing in regulation for the first time at the Honda Center this season last Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. After getting pulled against the Jets, Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller pitched a 36-save shutout against the Kings at Dodger Stadium in perhaps his finest outing of the season.
"I got in the game early, and we did a really good job of clearing space so I could see shots," Hiller said.
"Hiller was so good [Saturday], I think halfway through the third, I said it doesn't matter, they're not going to beat him," coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Hiller's 24 wins this season are fifth in the NHL, although he's started fewer games than all four goaltenders in front of him.
PLUS EFFORT: Four Ducks rank among the top 5 in plus/minus ratings this season, including Corey Perry (+25) and Francois Beauchemin (+23) tied for second and Ryan Getzlaf (+24) and Hampus Lindholm (+24) tied for fifth. Lindholm leads all rookies in plus/minus as no other first-year player has higher than a +22 and no rookie blueliner has higher than a +16.
Wild: Minnesota had a chance to kick off its current four-game road trip in style Saturday against the San Jose Sharks. After taking a 2-0 lead early in the second period, the Sharks tied the game in a span of 49 seconds. The Wild got the game to overtime, earning an important point in the process, but missed an opportunity to get two in one of the NHL's toughest places to play. The Wild were once among the league's best teams in the faceoff circle, but coach Mike Yeo cited an inability to win draws as the main reason why the team didn't get the second point Saturday. San Jose had a 41-18 edge in the faceoff circle.
"You get a point in this building, it's probably not a bad thing, but you could see what was happening," Yeo said. "We spent the entire night chasing, and it's inevitable that you're going to end up on your heels and give them some momentum. We never started with the puck and that was the big story."
Who's hot: Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf has scored at least one point in nine of 10 games. After seeing his eight-game point streak snapped Thursday against the Kings, Getzlaf got back on track at Dodger Stadium, picking up an assist. Getzlaf's 35 assists and 60 points lead the Ducks. The 60 points are third-best in the NHL. ... With Mikko Koivu still out with a fractured ankle, Wild center Mikael Granlund has stepped up in his absence. The Wild are 8-3-1 since ending 2013 on a six-game losing streak. Over that span, Granlund has an assist in seven of those 12 games.
Injury report: Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body inflammation) has skated on his own the past two days. ... For the Wild, Koivu (fractured ankle), defenseman Jared Spurgeon (foot) and goalie Josh Harding (illness) are on injured reserve.
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