ST. PAUL --
Down the hall from the home team at the Xcel Energy Center, the Anaheim Ducks
have been a picture of stability. Tonight's contest against the Minnesota Wild
is the Ducks' third in a string of eight straight road games -- a franchise record. Anaheim lost in a shootout to Detroit on Feb. 10, but bounced back nicely Sunday with a 5-3 win at Columbus.
After an abysmal start -- one which cost Randy Carlyle
his job -- new coach Bruce Boudreau
has the Ducks firing on all cylinders. At 12-3-3 since the first of the year, the Ducks have climbed to within 10 points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Their 27 points in that span is third-best in the League.
"It's all about confidence, having everybody on the same page," Ducks forward Teemu Selanne
said. "We're trying to enjoy the moment right now and hopeful we can stay hot."
Selanne, playing in his 20th NHL season, is on the verge of climbing the League's career scoring charts. With his next goal, Selanne will tie Brendan Shanahan
for 12th on the all-time list. He's also three points shy of matching Luc Robitaille
for 20th on the all-time scoring chart and two power-play goals short of Robitaille for fourth on that list.
Selanne has 5 points, all assists, against the Wild in three games this season. Minnesota has won two of the three previous matchups.
And while Minnesota has struggled to score of late, the Ducks boast two lines that can seemingly score at will. Corey Perry
netted a hat trick and fired a career-high 11 shots on goal in Sunday's win at Columbus. Ryan Getzlaf
has 12 points over his last 13 games.
"Our first two lines, if they are playing their best, can be the best in the League," Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller
said. "We have a good third and fourth line right now, too. Everybody's working together.
"Before, we had lots of ups and downs. Some nights, some guys were playing and some were not. Now, most nights, everybody is here 100 percent. Guys are willing to work and give everything. That's been the difference."
Hiller has been rock-solid himself, stopping shots at almost a 93-percent clip and allowing less than two goals per over his last 16 games. He is 10-2-3 over that stretch with one no-decision.