NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, December 20th
(All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (24-7-5) at New Jersey Devils (14-15-6), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The rolling Anaheim Ducks will try to match a season-
high winning streak when they visit the New Jersey Devils for an
interconference battle at Prudential Center.
The Ducks have won six in a row heading into Friday's contest, leaving them
one victory shy of a seven-game tear from Oct. 5-20. Despite the recent hot
streak and a stellar 24-7-5 record this season, Anaheim is only one point
ahead of Los Angeles for first place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have a
chance to extend that lead on Friday, as the Kings are idle tonight.
Anaheim has scored five goals on three occasions during its current winning
streak, including Tuesday's 5-2 road triumph against the Detroit Red Wings.
Jakob Silfverberg scored in his return to the lineup as the red-hot Ducks
cruised past the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Silfverberg was back in action
after a 24-game absence because of a broken hand.
Sami Vatanen, Saku Koivu, Corey Perry and Nick Bonino also lit the lamp in the
rout, while Jonas Hiller only needed to stop 16 shots for the win.
Despite the strong effort, Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau was careful not to
read too much into Tuesday's win over Detroit.
"We took advantage of a team that was hurting," Boudreau warned. "Listen, we
beat Detroit 5-2 in the first game we played them last year, too. How'd it end
up? It's just ... that was no way the Detroit Red Wings that you're going to
see in January."
The win over the Red Wings was Anaheim's third straight road victory and it
came at the start of a four-game tour of Eastern Conference clubs. The Ducks
have built a decent 11-7-3 record as the guest this season, but that pales in
comparison to Anaheim's stellar 13-0-2 mark on home ice.
The Devils enter Friday on a more modest two-game winning streak, but another
victory tonight would give New Jersey just its second three-win stretch of the
season. Peter DeBoer's club previously won three in a row from Nov. 16-21.
After opening a three-game homestand with Saturday's 3-0 victory over Tampa
Bay, the Devils notched Wednesday's 5-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. The
back-to-back wins as the host improved New Jersey's home record this season to
Damien Brunner and Eric Gelinas each posted a goal and assist to help the
Devils down the Senators on Wednesday. Stephen Gionta and Reid Boucher lit the
lamp for the Devils, but Jaromir Jagr grabbed the spotlight by scoring the
693rd goal of his storied NHL career. Jagr's 12th tally of the season moved
him past Steve Yzerman into eighth place on the NHL's all-time goals list.
Martin Brodeur, who like Jagr is a sure-fire future Hall of Famer, made 23
stops to help the Devils earn their third win in five games.
"Liked the win, liked the goals -- I liked our effort," said DeBoer. "I
thought we showed up and played a real solid game."
After capping a homestand tonight, the Devils will play two straight and three
of their next four games as the guest.
Anaheim has not fared well as the road team in this series, losing two
straight and eight of nine when visiting the Devils. If you count the 2003
Stanley Cup Finals matchup between the Ducks and Devils, New Jersey has won 13
of the 15 all-time encounters in the Garden State. The Devils won that series
in seven games, as every contest in the series was claimed by the home team.
New Jersey also has won four straight in this series since the Ducks last beat
them in Anaheim on Jan. 11. 2009.
12/20 10:49:49 ET