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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, November 18th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (15-5-2) at Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Goals have been tough to come by lately for the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially for star forward Evgeni Malkin.
Malkin and the Pens' offense will try to break out on Monday night as they play host to an Anaheim Ducks club hoping to avoid a winless road trip.
The Penguins have lost four of their last five games, held to just a single goal in each setback. They looked to have broken out on Friday night with a 4-1 win over Nashville, but fell right back into the loss column the following night with a 4-1 setback to New Jersey.
Chris Kunitz had a goal and Marc-Andre Fleury gave up three goals on 21 shots for Pittsburgh, which fell to 4-5-0 on the road compared to its 8-3-0 mark at home.
"We had our fair amount of chances, especially early on, we had some pretty good looks and didn't score," Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby said. "We have to find a way to bare down and get those goals."
Crosby is tied for second in the league with 25 points, but has just one goal over his last 10 games. It has been worse for Malkin, who is mired in a career-worst 13-game drought without a goal.
Malkin has a goal and four assists in six career meetings with the Ducks, who have lost the first three of their four-game road trip. That first two setbacks came in regulation before a 3-2 shootout defeat at the hands of Carolina on Friday.
Corey Perry and Dustin Penner scored in regulation for Anaheim, while Viktor Fasth made 21 saves.
"I think we played a really good game today," said Fasth, who had been out since Oct. 16 with a lower-body injury. "We basically just gave up 20 shots and had a lot of chances for us."
Anaheim had gone 8-0-1 before its three-game slide and is 7-5-2 on the road this season. By comparison, the Ducks are 8-0-0 as the hosting club.
Injuries and illness have plagued the Ducks as of late, but they saw encouraging events unfold Sunday. Forwards Matt Beleskey, Saku Koivu and Mathieu Perreault were all on the ice for practice, leaving the possibility of game action tonight for the trio.
Perreault missed Friday's game with flu-like symptoms, while Beleskey has been limited to just two regular season games this season and none since Oct. 5 due to a broken thumb. Koivu has been out the past 10 games with a concussion suffered on Oct. 27.
The Ducks have won their past two encounters with the Penguins, including a 2-1 victory in Pittsburgh on Feb. 15, 2012 in the most recent meeting. Anaheim snapped a four-game series road losing streak with the win, getting goals from Perry and Teemu Selanne as well as 25 saves by Jonas Hiller.
Malkin went into that game having scored five goals with 10 points in his previous five games, but was held without a point.
Hiller could get the start tonight and is 2-2-0 with a 3.02 goals against average in four career meetings with the Pens, while Fasth has never faced them.
Fleury, who posted 27 saves in the most recent loss in this series, is 4-2-0 with a 2.52 GAA in six games against the Ducks.
11/18 10:28:27 ET
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