NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 12th (All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (20-15-10) at Anaheim Ducks (34-8-5), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Anaheim Ducks hope to extend their winning streak to seven straight games on Sunday night when they return home to face the Detroit Red Wings.
The Ducks have won 16 of their last 17 games to rocket to the top of the NHL standings with 73 points. That is five more than the Chicago Blackhawks for the most in the Western Conference and the Ducks own an 11-point edge over second-place San Jose in the Pacific Division.
Anaheim has been helped by a 20-game point streak at home to begin the season. The Ducks are the lone team in the NHL to have not suffered a regulation setback at home, going 18-0-2.
Goaltender Jonas Hiller has also been key to Anaheim's current run as he has won a club-record 13 straight starts. He made 28 saves in last night's 5-3 win over the hosting Phoenix Coyotes.
Hiller is the first goaltender since Chris Osgood in 1995-96 to win 13 games in a row and he helped the Ducks sweep their five-game season series with the Coyotes.
"It's a great thing, but I'm more excited about winning. The personal things are the cherry on the cake," Hiller said. " We talked about wanting to win the whole series, every game. We might face (Phoenix) in the playoffs, and we want to make sure we have the confidence against them."
Hampus Lindholm had two goals, while Sami Vatanen, Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Penner all added goals, though Getzlaf left the game in the second period with an injury and did not return.
Mathieu Perreault added three assists and Corey Perry had two helpers as the Ducks extended their franchise record of scoring four-or-more goals in a game to six in a row.
It is unknown if Hiller will get a chance to become the fifth goaltender to win 14 straight games, or if backup John Gibson will make his NHL debut tonight.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last netminder to win 14 consecutive decisions in a single season was Pittsburgh's Tom Barrasso in 1992-93.
Hiller is 4-7-1 with a 2.71 goals against average in his career versus the Red Wings, making 16 saves in a 5-2 victory in Detroit on Dec. 17. It was only Anaheim's fourth victory in the last 12 games of this series and it has lost two straight and four of its last six at home to the Red Wings.
Detroit is 2-1-0 on a five-game road trip after besting the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Saturday night. Tomas Tatar and Daniel Cleary scored in the third period, with Tatar putting home an emotional game-winner.
The 23-year-old, whose father passed away this week, put home a rebound of Riley Sheahan's shot at 12:06 of the third period and pointed up to the rafters following the goal.
"As I'm sure you know, my dad passed away two days ago," Tatar said. "This game and my goal were for him. It's really hard for me to talk about, it was a big loss for me."
Tatar scored in his third straight game and also assisted on Sheahan's first career goal.
Jimmy Howard made 44 saves, but is unlikely to start tonight after suffering a hip flexor. He may serve as the backup to Petr Mrazek.
Detroit already played last night without forwards Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Darren Helm (groin) and Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms).
Mrazek has faced the Ducks just once before, relieving Jonas Gustavsson in that Dec. 17 loss. He stopped 17-of-19 shots in 42 minutes.
01/12 10:49:33 ET