The Anaheim Ducks are getting healthy and they hope that will be enough to finally record a win on the road.
The reigning Stanley Cup champions look to avoid opening the season with a seventh straight road loss Saturday when they the visit the Phoenix Coyotes, who haven't won at home in almost a month.
With Ryan Getzlaf, Rob Niedermayer and Mathieu Schneider back from injuries, the Ducks (5-7-2) beat Columbus 2-1 in a shootout on Thursday night at home to snap a four-game losing streak.
Schneider, a defenseman who made his Anaheim debut after missing 13 games with a broken left ankle, scored the lone goal in the shootout for the Ducks.
Niedermayer scored his first goal in the third period after missing three games with a strained groin and Getzlaf, who is tied for the team lead with 10 points, saw almost 19 minutes of ice time after missing two contests with a forearm injury.
Only veteran Todd Bertuzzi remains out with a concussion.
"I think from a coaching point of view, it's nice to finally get 90 percent of our lineup back," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle told the Ducks' official Web site. "When you have parts of your lineup that come back in and make a contribution in their first game, that's always encouraging."
Anaheim hopes to build off that victory as it tries to win consecutive games for the second time this season. That would mean winning on the road, where the Ducks are 0-5-1 after going 22-14-5 last season.
Anaheim, which is the only Western Conference team without a road win, last lost seven straight on the road from Oct. 8-Nov. 12, 2005.
"(Thursday) was the building and we're getting better. We're getting our game where we want it to get to," Niedermayer said. "I think we know every game is important right now because we want to get that (winning) feeling back."
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 19 saves and shined in the shootout for his second win Thursday. He did not play in the Ducks' 1-0 home loss to Phoenix on Oct. 25, but went 4-1-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average versus the Coyotes last season.
Phoenix's Alex Auld recorded his third career shutout last week versus Anaheim and is expected to start in goal Saturday. He made 31 saves in that contest, his only win in five starts against the Ducks.
Auld looks to give Phoenix another strong performance in net after Mikael Tellqvist overcame the flu to make 35 saves for his fifth career shutout in a 5-0 win at Dallas on Friday.
"We've gotten really strong goaltending, and you've got to be a little bit lucky," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.
Shane Doan had a goal and two assists Friday for the Coyotes, who look to avoid a sixth straight loss at Jobing.com Arena after a 3-2 win over St. Louis in their home opener on Oct. 4.
Phoenix has been outscored 22-13 at home, but will try for its second straight win there over the Ducks.
|Apr 06 '08||PHX 2 at ANA 3 - SO||R. Getzlaf|
|Mar 22 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 1||T. Selanne|
|Mar 11 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 3 - SO||R. Vrbata|
|Jan 05 '08||ANA 2 at PHX 3 - SO||P. Mueller|
|Nov 23 '07||PHX 4 at ANA 3 - SO||S. Doan|
|Nov 07 '07||PHX 6 at ANA 5 - OT||S. Doan|
|Nov 03 '07||ANA 5 at PHX 2||B. May|
|Oct 25 '07||PHX 1 at ANA 0||C. Weller|