Ducks seek to stay perfect at home in clash with Devils
(SportsNetwork.com) - After going winless on a four-game road trip, the Anaheim Ducks will try to remain perfect for the season on home ice when they host the New Jersey Devils in Wednesday's battle at the Honda Center.
When Anaheim recorded a home win over Vancouver on Nov. 10 it was the Ducks' fifth straight victory overall and the 3-1 decision also improved the club's record in Orange County this season to 8-0.
However, the Ducks went cold on the road, earning just one point during a recent 0-3-1 trek that ended with Monday's 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh. The winless trek dropped Anaheim to 7-6-2 on the road this season and the slump has caused the Ducks' lead atop the Pacific Division to shrink to just one point.
Anaheim headed into the third period of Monday's game tied with the Penguins at 0-0, but Brian Gibbons, Brandon Sutter and Sidney Crosby each scored for the home team over the final 20 minutes, while Ryan Getzlaf notched the lone goal for the Ducks. Viktor Fasth stopped 24 shots for Anaheim in a losing cause.
"When you don't have four lines contributing scoring, it's tough to win," said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Anaheim has already secured the franchise record for best start to a season on home ice and the Ducks are the first team to go 8-0 as the host since Los Angeles also won its first eight games at the Staples Center to begin the 2010-11 campaign.
The Ducks are opening a two-game homestand on Wednesday and the club will also host Tampa Bay on Friday. The Devils, who are just 3-6-3 on the road this season, are kicking off a three-game tour of California on Wednesday. New Jersey will visit Los Angeles tomorrow before closing the swing Saturday night in San Jose.
New Jersey has won three of its past four games and is 4-1-1 over the last six trips to the ice. The Devils last played on Saturday when they recorded a 4-1 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Adam Larsson scored the game-winner late in the second and Jaromir Jagr added a pair of insurance tallies in the third to help the Devils down the Pens.
Andy Greene opened the scoring in the first and Dainius Zubrus notched a pair of assists for the Devils. Martin Brodeur stopped 27-of-28 shots in the triumph.
"We played well," Brodeur said. "We weathered the storm in the first. They were on us a lot, but I thought after that we took over the game a little bit."
With the Devils playing on consecutive nights, head coach Peter DeBoer will likely divide the two starts between Brodeur and Cory Schneider. Brodeur is expected to get the call tonight and is 14-6-0 with a tie and a 1.82 goals against average in 21 career outings against the Ducks.
Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller is 1-2-1 with a 1.98 GAA in four career games against the Devils. Fasth has never faced New Jersey.
Wednesday's test marks the first meeting between the Devils and Ducks in Anaheim since Oct. 29, 2010, when New Jersey halted a two-game road losing streak in the series with a 2-1 regulation win. The Devils have taken three straight overall from the Ducks.
11/20 10:45:18 ET