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Ducks kick off residency versus Wild
(SportsNetwork.com) - The NHL-leading Anaheim Ducks will try to continue their dominant play on home ice when they kick off a four-game stay at the Honda Center in Tuesday's clash against the Minnesota Wild.
The Ducks are 21-1-2 as the host this season and only recently suffered their first regulation loss of the campaign in Orange County, losing last Tuesday's 3-2 decision against the Winnipeg Jets.
However, Anaheim rebounded from that loss with a home-and-home sweep of the rival Los Angeles Kings. After notching a 2-1 win over the Kings at the Honda Center on Thursday, the Ducks also claimed Saturday's outdoor battle with L.A. at Dodger Stadium in 3-0 fashion.
Jonas Hiller was the star of the Stadium Series battle at Chavez Ravine, as the Ducks goaltender made 36 saves to anchor the outdoor win over the Kings. Hiller was heavily tested in the first period, turning away 20 shots while Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey both scored for the Ducks.
Andrew Cogliano added an empty-net goal with 1:29 remaining in the third period.
Hiller added six saves in the second period and 10 more in the third to record his fourth shutout of the season. Only Boston's Tuukka Rask has more shutouts in the NHL this season with five.
"I think halfway through the third I said it doesn't matter. They're not going to beat him," Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau said about Hiller.
Hiller expects to get the start on Tuesday and he is 11-4-1 with a 2.29 goals against average in 18 career games against the Wild.
The Ducks have won 21 of their last 24 games, and with 83 points they lead Chicago by seven for the top spots in both the conference and league standings. Anaheim is also nine points in front of San Jose for the Pacific Division lead.
Minnesota has not fared well against the Ducks recently and it will try to halt a six-game losing streak in the series tonight. The Wild are 0-1-1 against Anaheim this season, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision at home on Oct. 5 before losing 2-1 in Orange County on Dec. 11.
The Wild enter Tuesday's tilt having lost two of their last three and the club fell 3-2 to San Jose in Saturday's overtime battle at the Shark Tank. Minnesota held a 2-0 lead in the road game versus the Sharks, but San Jose tied the game by the end of the second period before Joe Thornton won it in the extra session.
"When you don't get the second (point) it still stings a little for sure," said Wild head coach Mike Yeo.
Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 30 saves in his seventh straight start for Minnesota, which still boasts a strong 8-3-1 record in January.
Kuemper could get the call again on Tuesday in what would be his second career outing against the Ducks. The 23-year-old Saskatchewan native stopped 26-of-29 shots in a losing effort in Anaheim on March 1 of last season.
01/28 11:28:37 ET