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League-leading Ducks Host Blackhawks in Highly Anticipated Matchup

Wednesday, 02.05.2014 / 8:34 AM
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League-leading Ducks Host Blackhawks in Highly Anticipated Matchup
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Anaheim Ducks

BLACKHAWKS (34-10-14) at DUCKS (40-13-5)


Last 10: Chicago 4-2-4; Anaheim 5-5-0

Season series: Anaheim and Chicago conclude a three-game season series tonight at Honda Center. The Ducks have won five of the last six over the Blackhawks, including a 3-2 shootout win on Dec. 6 at Chicago. The Blackhawks won the most recent meeting between these two teams, a 4-2 decision on Jan. 17 at the United Center. Anaheim is 43-27-9 all-time vs. Chicago, including 23-10-4 at Honda Center.

Big story: The league-leading Ducks (40-13-5, 85 points) face the Chicago Blackhawks (34-10-14, 82 points) tonight at Honda Center in a matchup of the top two clubs in the NHL by standings points (7 p.m., FS West/AM 830). The two clubs have a combined record of 74-23-19 (.720 win/points %), the best record among competing clubs at this stage of the season in nearly five years. The last NHL game played between two NHL clubs with a combined points/win % over .720 (after 58 games or more) was on Feb. 25, 2009, when Detroit hosted San Jose (80-21-17, .750 combined win/points %) *Stats INC.

"I think it's appropriate we play Chicago," said Ducks defenseman Bryan Allen. "They're a great team coming in that's always a good battle and great games. It'll be good to end [the homestand] with a victory."

Team Scope:

Ducks: With his team enduring a bit of a slump for the first time all season, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau sent a message Tuesday that emphasized having fun. In lieu of a demanding practice, Boudreau had players begin with a "two-puck" drill followed by a scrimmage.

"Sometimes when things are going bad and things aren't going right, players forget it's a game to have fun," Boudreau said. "We played a little bit of two-puck to warm up and told them that the sun still rose today and we’re still first place. Let's not jump off a cliff because we haven't played well the past week."

Blackhawks: Chicago is resting veteran forward Marian Hossa each chance it gets. Coming off an impressive January in which he had nine goals, three assists and a plus-4 rating, Hossa has sat out two morning skates and a practice during the road trip, yet continues to produce in games. Hossa had an assist and was plus-1 in the Blackhawks' 5-3 win Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

"It is huge when you can have some days extra off and just maybe not going out on the ice and working on something different here in the dressing room or in the gym," Hossa said. "As long as you feel good on the ice, that's the important thing."

Who's hot: Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf has points in four of five and 12 of his past 14 games. .. Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg is on a four-game point streak (four assists). Left wing Brandon Saad has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past five

Injury report: Ducks goalie Viktor Fasth (upper body) faced shots Tuesday during his first full practice since going on IR. Center Nick Bonino (upper body), and defensemen Mark Fistric (lower body) are on IR. ... Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (shoulder surgery) is on injured reserve and expected to miss the rest of the season.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 05 '14 CHI 2 at ANA 0 M. Hossa
Jan 17 '14 ANA 2 at CHI 4 B. Bickell
Dec 06 '13 ANA 3 at CHI 2 - SO K. Palmieri
P. Kane59273663+818106
P. Sharp59283058+183482
J. Toews59193655+212632
M. Hossa54242650+261644
D. Keith5834548+19821
B. Saad59182240+221632
B. Seabrook5962834+241630
K. Versteeg5891928-62611
A. Shaw57141226+114541
M. Kruger5961824+72401
N. Leddy5961723+13831
N. Hjalmarsson5941923+133001
B. Smith5271017+3200
J. Oduya5831013+72401
B. Bollig596612+26701
B. Pirri286511+6610
M. Handzus404711-11002
B. Bickell428210-71202
M. Rozsival32156+02600
J. Morin15145+23000
S. Brookbank31134+43301
M. Kostka9213+3801
J. Nordstrom10112+2200
B. Mills3000-1000
J. Hayes2000+1000
C. Crawford4122-8-109210942.36.916
A. Raanta1912-2-3434492.40.904
N. Khabibulin41-0-114745.00.811
K. Simpson10-0-0276.00.714
R. Getzlaf55273764+222247
C. Perry59293059+224869
N. Bonino56162440+51461
A. Cogliano59171431+152002
C. Fowler5962430+101242
D. Penner46131629+192852
M. Perreault50111829+112021
K. Palmieri5191322+72804
S. Koivu4491221+53201
D. Winnik5521921+41401
T. Selanne4771320+41243
H. Lindholm5651419+242611
M. Beleskey3651116+22901
J. Silfverberg316915+2810
S. Vatanen416814+22020
P. Maroon395914+46201
B. Lovejoy5731013+191401
F. Beauchemin4911011+232700
E. Etem276410+2411
D. Smith-Pelly16178+5200
B. Allen47077+164600
M. Fistric29145+82000
T. Jackman29213-28900
A. Grant2202+3200
P. Holland4101-1200
L. Sbisa13011-73300
R. Rakell7011+0200
N. Yonkman2011-1000
D. Steckel6000+0000
J. Hiller3824-9-48810402.35.915
F. Andersen1814-3-0354842.06.928
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