By Kyle Shohara
For the first time since mid-December, the Ducks are embarking on an extended road trip, this one coming after a lengthy stay at – or near - home. They enjoyed an eight-game homestand that lasted nearly three weeks, only left the Pacific Time Zone once since Dec. 20 (road game at Arizona, Dec. 27), and played 11 of their last 14 games at Honda Center.
This trip starts off with a bang, as the Ducks travel to Nashville to take on the Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. Both teams sit atop the NHL standings with 72 points; Anaheim with a 33-12-6 record and Nashville coming in at 33-11-6. From there, the Ducks play Friday night at Washington, then travel south for games Sunday at Tampa Bay and Tuesday at Florida, before ending their road trip next Thursday at Carolina, the team they defeated in overtime on Tuesday night at Honda Center.
It’ll be one of the toughest stretches of the season for Anaheim, and one that will tell a lot about where this club stands among the league’s elite. Below is a breakdown of all five games, beginning with Nashville.NASHVILLE PREDATORSARENA:
33-11-6, 72 pointsSTANDINGS:
1st in the Central Division, tied for 1st (with Anaheim) overallHOME RECORD:
Won 2ALL-TIME RECORD VS. NASHVILLE:
33-19-7 (12-13-4 at Nashville)NASHVILLE CONNECTIONS:
NoneABOUT THE CITY:
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and the second largest city in the state, after Memphis. Nicknamed “Music City,” Nashville is known by many as being the center of the music industry. It is home to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, which includes the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Opera, Music City Drum and Bugle Corps, and the Nashville Ballet. Also located within the city are the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theatre, and Ryman Auditorium. The four-day CMA Music Festival is held each June, bringing over 400 artists and celebrities to the area. Nashville is also home to The Parthenon, a full scale replica of the Greek temple and the only one in the world.DUCKS-PREDATORS:
In the first meeting of the season, Ryan Kesler scored the shootout winner - his second GDG of the season - to lead the Ducks to a 4-3 win against the Predators at Honda Center on Jan. 4. The Ducks staged a comeback late in the third period when Francois Beauchemin scored his second goal in four games with less than three minutes remaining in regulation. Matt Beleskey (17th) and Corey Perry (15th) also scored for Anaheim, which improved to 6-1-0 in its last seven games vs. Nashville. Making his sixth consecutive start, Frederik Andersen turned aside 27-of-30 shots to extend his career high in wins to 22. Ryan Getzlaf paces Anaheim skaters in career scoring against the Predators, collecting 36 points (10g/26a) in 31 games.WASHINGTON CAPITALS
26-15-10, 62 pointsSTANDINGS:
4th in the Metropolitan Division, 7th in the Eastern ConferenceHOME RECORD:
Won 1ALL-TIME RECORD VS. WASHINGTON:
14-10-3 (8-5-1 at Washington)WASHINGTON CONNECTIONS:
Bruce Boudreau – Served as head coach of the Capitals from 2007-11, and head coach of Washington’s AHL affiliate (Hershey Bears) from 2005-07.ABOUT THE CITY:
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States. It is the 23rd-most populous city in the U.S. with an estimated population of 658,893, which increases by more than one million during the workweek. The centers of all three branches of the federal government of the United States are in the District. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, The White House has become symbolic of the American Presidency throughout the world. It is here where every President, except George Washington, has conducted the government of the Nation. Also in D.C. is the United States Capitol - the meeting place of the nation's legislature. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and is an architectural achievement. Like the federal buildings for the executive and judicial branches, the Capitol is built in the distinctive neoclassical style with a white exterior.DUCKS-CAPITALS:
This will mark the first of two meetings within a nine-day span. After the game at Verizon Center on Friday, these two clubs will conclude the season series at Honda Center on Sunday, Feb. 15. Anaheim is 14-10-3 all-time vs. Washington, including an 8-5-1 record at Verizon Center. The Ducks and Capitals split the 2013-14 season series, with each team winning on the road. Nate Thompson leads active Ducks in career scoring vs. Washington, recording nine points (4g/5a) in 28 games.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
32-15-5, 69 pointsSTANDINGS:
1st in the Atlantic Division, 1st in the Eastern ConferenceHOME RECORD:
ALL-TIME RECORD VS. TAMPA BAY:
15-10-1 (7-6-0 at Tampa Bay)TAMPA BAY CONNECTIONS:
Eric Brewer – Played parts of five seasons with the Lightning (2010-14).
Nate Thompson – Played parts of five seasons with the Lightning (2009-2014).ABOUT THE CITY:
Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico. It was rated in the top 10 of Runner's World magazine's list of best cities for runners in its January 2001 issue, and in 2008 was ranked as the fifth best outdoor city by Forbes. Tampa is also home to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts (formerly Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center) – a 335,000-square-foot venue that features a Broadway series, produces grand opera, while also presenting a variety of concerts, performances and events. The Straz Center is the second largest performing arts complex in the Southeastern United States (behind the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami).DUCKS-LIGHTNING:
The first of a two-game season series will begin on Sunday in Tampa, and conclude in Anaheim just 10 days later. Despite having a winning record all-time at Amalie Arena (Anaheim is 7-6-0 dating to its inaugural 1993-94 season), the Ducks have lost two in a row here. These two teams last met Nov. 22, 2013 at Honda Center in a game that went down to the final seconds of overtime, when Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal at the 4:54 mark of overtime. Francois Beauchemin (1g/6a) and Ryan Getzlaf (3g/4a) lead active Ducks in career scoring vs. Tampa Bay. Getzlaf’s seven points have come in seven career games against the Lightning.FLORIDA PANTHERS
22-17-10, 54 pointsSTANDINGS:
5th in the Atlantic Division, 9th in the Eastern ConferenceHOME RECORD:
WON 1ALL-TIME RECORD VS. FLORIDA:
11-11-4 (5-4-3 at Florida)FLORIDA CONNECTIONS:
NoneABOUT THE CITY:
The Florida Panthers call the city of Sunrise home. Located in east-central Broward County, Sunrise resides in the Miami metropolitan area. Sunrise was incorporated in 1961 by Norman Johnson – a developer whose World Famous Upside-Down House attracted buyers to the area. Originally known as Sunrise Golf Village, the city changed its name to Sunrise in 1971. In addition to BB&T Center, Sunrise is also home to Sawgrass Mills, the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in the United States, with over 300,000 square feet containing more than 350 stores. DUCKS-PANTHERS:
The Ducks will look to end the season series on a high note after getting trounced 6-2 at home on Nov. 16. Anaheim had a season-high seven-game standings point streak snapped in the loss. Emerson Etem led the team with his fifth career multi-point game (2a), while Josh Manson picked up his first career NHL point (assist) along with a career-high +2 rating. Hampus Lindholm and Andrew Cogliano each scored for Anaheim, which lost in regulation for the first time since Oct. 30 at St. Louis. Frederik Andersen was charged with the loss, stopping 11-of-15 shots. Corey Perry leads the Ducks in career scoring vs. Florida, with 11 points (5g/6a) in nine games.CAROLINA HURRICANES
17-26-7, 41 pointsSTANDINGS:
8th in the Metropolitan Division, 15th in the Eastern ConferenceHOME RECORD:
OT 1ALL-TIME RECORD VS. CAROLINA:
14-12-3 (5-7-2 at Carolina/Hartford)
Frederik Andersen – Drafted by Carolina in the seventh round (187th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, but was unable to come to terms with the club.
ABOUT THE CITY:
Raleigh is the capital of the state of North Carolina. It is home to North Carolina State University, which is part of the Research Triangle area, along with Durham (home of Duke University) and Chapel Hill (home of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Raleigh was voted as the best place to live in America, according to a Businessweek.com study in June, 2011. Raleigh boasts more than 4,300 acres of parkland and almost 1,400 acres of water, offering recreational activities year-round. A nationally acclaimed greenway system spans 41 miles, providing 24 walking, jogging and hiking trails that connect many of the city’s 150 major parks.
Ryan Getzlaf tied a franchise record with his sixth career overtime goal to lead the Ducks to a 5-4 victory over the Hurricanes at Honda Center on Feb. 3. Getzlaf moved into a tie for the all-time Anaheim lead in OT goals with Teemu Selanne 45 seconds into the extra frame, his first since Nov. 22, 2013 vs. Tampa Bay. Corey Perry had a game-high three points (2g/1a) for his 46th career multi-goal game and seventh career 20-goal season, the second-most in franchise history. Stopping 28-of-32 shots, Frederik Andersen (48-12-5) joined Montreal’s Bill Durnan as the fastest goaltenders in NHL history to 48 wins, accomplishing the feat in 65 career decisions.