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Ducks aim for sixth victory in a row vs. Coyotes
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will shoot for a sixth straight victory when they host the Phoenix Coyotes in Friday's Pacific Division battle at the Honda Center.
Anaheim's only loss of the 2013-14 season came in its opening contest, but the Ducks have rattled off five consecutive victories since getting routed by the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Oct. 2.
With another victory on Friday, the 5-1-0 Ducks would match their longest winning streak from last season. Anaheim also had a six-game winning streak from Feb. 9-24 of last season.
Anaheim's latest victory came Wednesday evening against the visiting Calgary Flames, who were dealt their first regulation setback of the season in the 3-2 loss. Teemu Selanne scored what proved to be the game-winner late in the second period to help the Ducks earn the home win.
Kyle Palmieri and Dustin Penner potted a goal apiece for the Ducks, who have won 17 straight regular-season home games against the Flames. Viktor Fasth stood tall between the pipes for Anaheim, turning away 33-of-35 shots in the triumph.
Selanne's first goal of the season staked Anaheim to a 3-1 lead late in the second following a Calgary turnover in the neutral zone. The Finnish veteran actually broke his stick shortly before the goal, but received a new one from the bench seconds before Jakob Silfverberg found him streaking down the middle of the ice for a breakaway.
Silfverberg won a race to the loose puck near the Flames' blue line and tipped the disc ahead to spring Selanne, who finished with a quick wrister from between the circles for the 676th goal of his storied NHL career.
"I broke two sticks for the first time in my career," the 43-year-old Selanne said after the game "I got the breakaway. Sometimes, you've got to be lucky."
Anaheim is 3-0 on a five-game homestand that is set to end Sunday against the Dallas Stars.
Phoenix hopes it can continue to have success against the Ducks on Friday after taking four of the last five meetings between the clubs. The Coyotes halted a three-game road losing streak against Anaheim the last time the clubs met on April 27 of last season.
Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata recorded three goals in last April's win over the Ducks and the hat trick gives him 12 goals and 30 points in 39 career games against the Ducks. Fasth surrendered four goals on 30 shots in the loss and is 0-1-1 with a 3.89 goals against average in two career tilts against Phoenix.
Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller is 15-6-3 with a 2.54 GAA in 25 career outings against the Coyotes and could get the call tonight.
The Coyotes had won three in a row before dropping an overtime decision Tuesday against the visiting Ottawa Senators. Cory Conacher scored 2:48 into OT, beating Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith with a one-timer to lift the Senators to victory at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix held a 2-0 lead over the Sens before allowing three unanswered goals from Ottawa's Jason Spezza. However, Coyotes forward Mike Ribeiro was credited with a power-play goal with 3:30 remaining in regulation to force overtime.
"We made a couple critical mistakes that hurt us. We'll take the point and move on," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.
Smith stopped 28 shots for the Coyotes, but fell to 3-2-1 on the season. He is 8-3-1 with a 2.74 GAA in his career against Phoenix and is expected to get the start on Friday.
Phoenix defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Derek Morris are questionable for this evening's game. Klesla sustained an upper-body injury after absorbing a big hit from Ottawa's Bobby Ryan on Tuesday, while Morris sat out the game against the Sens with a lower-body issue.
10/18 10:50:40 ET