Ducks hope to rebound against Leafs
Saturday, 11.26.2011 / 7:42 PM
Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer MAPLE LEAFS (13-8-2) at DUCKS (6-12-4)
: SNET-O, PRIME
: Toronto 4-5-1; Anaheim 1-7-2.
: Sunday's clash marks the only meeting of the season between the Maple Leafs and Ducks. Last season, Toronto scored four unanswered goals to claim a 5-2 win at Air Canada Centre on Jan. 20 in its lone clash with Anaheim.
: The Ducks, who have posted the worst home record in the League (4-7-0), hope to get the ball rolling in the right direction when the Northeast Division-leading Maple Leafs visit Honda Center on Sunday night. Toronto has won three of their last four games, with their potent offense posting 20 goals in that span.
: Toronto can close out its current four-game road trip with a winning record when it meets Anaheim on Sunday night. The Leafs were taken to the brink on Friday, as Radek Dvorak notched a back-breaking goal for Dallas late in the third period that tied the game at 3-3. But Joffrey Lupul
went on to score the only goal in the shootout, and Jonas Gustavsson
made a clutch stop on the ensuing attempt to secure another road win for Toronto.
It was another classic example of how the injury-plagued Leafs consistently find ways to win.
"It's a big two points for our team coming in here," Dion Phaneuf
told the Associated Press. "I thought [Dallas] played really well. They're a real hardworking team. They're where they're at in the standings in the West for a reason, so we knew it would be a big test for us. I thought we really stuck to it for the full 65 minutes and the shootout to pull out two really big points."
: With only two victories in their last 17 games, the Ducks continue to search for answers. On Friday, Anaheim's offense got back on track, outscoring the Blackhawks, 4-2, through the first 40 minutes of the game. But Chicago responded quickly, chasing goaltender Jonas Hiller
after three goals in the opening 3:33 of the frame. The Blackhawks then scored a fourth unanswered goal later in the period that proved to be the difference in an eventual 6-5 loss for the Ducks.
While the Blackhawks mounted their comeback, the Anaheim offense – tied for second-worst in the League with 2.14 goals per game – was nowhere to be found.
"Right now, we're finding way to lose hockey games when we have prime position to win hockey games," coach Randy Carlyle told AnaheimDucks.com. "It's very frustrating and confusing for everybody involved."
: Phaneuf has tallied a goal and five assists in his current four-game point streak. … Teemu Selanne
, at 41-years-old, has been a bright spot for Anaheim as of late, totaling three goals and three assists in his last five contests.
: James Reimer
(concussion-like symptoms) has returned to practice and is expected to be activated within the next 10 days. Nazem Kadri (knee), Colby Amstrong (ankle), Mikhail Grabovski
(lower body), Mike Komisarek
(broken arm), and Matthew Lombardi (shoulder) are also on IR for Toronto and are expected to miss Sunday’s game in Anaheim … George Parros
(eye) and Lubomir Visnovsky
(broken finger) will miss the game for the Ducks.
: Ryan Getzlaf
has not scored a goal in 13 consecutive games – the longest drought of his seven-year NHL career.
: "I don't think management's willing to just accept what we're doing right now," Hiller told NHL.com. "We can't get it together right now. Management wants to give us the best chance and it doesn't look like we can figure it out how to play better right now. I thought we had a lot of emotion [on Friday], a lot of things going our way and then suddenly we stopped playing the body, we stopped playing hard."