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Preview: Ducks Host Division-Rival Coyotes Tonight

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (4-5-2, 10 pts.) continue a three-game homestand, the club's longest to date this season, vs. the Arizona Coyotes (4-6-0, 8 pts.) tonight at Honda Center (7 p.m. PDT, Fox Sports West/AM 830). Anaheim has earned standings points in five of the past seven games (4-2-1, 9 pts.) as it begins a two-game stretch against Pacific Division opponents (2-0-1 record this season). The Ducks are in the midst of 13 consecutive days spent in Southern California (five home games and one contest in LA). Following tonight's game, the Ducks will conclude the homestand against the Calgary Flames on Sunday.

Tonight's contest marks the first of four games between these two clubs this season, marking the shortest season set between them since 2012-13 (four games, 1-1-2 record for Anaheim). The Ducks are 10-2-3 in their past 15 games vs. the Coyotes and own an all-time record of 67-34-19 vs. their Pacific Division rival (37-16-8 at home). Anaheim has also won the past two games against the Coyotes and gone 6-2-2 in the last 10 at Honda Center.

Ryan Getzlaf has 58 points (17g/41a) in 60 career games vs. the Coyotes, tops among active Anaheim skaters. Tonight's contest marks the first for Antoine Vermette against his former team since signing as a free agent with Anaheim on Aug. 15, 2016. In 291 career games with the Coyotes franchise, the 34-year-old Vermette earned 149 points (70g/79a) with 223 penalty minutes. Vermette also collected 10 points (5g/5a) and 24 penalty minutes in 16 games during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs with Arizona.

The Ducks are coming off a 5-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Honda Center on Wednesday, the second half of a back-to-back that began with a 4-0 victory over the LA Kings at Staples Center on Tuesday. Ondrej Kase made his NHL debut in the game against the Penguins and finished with two shots on goal in 8:42 time on ice. Jonathan Bernier also made his first appearance since October 25 at San Jose coming on in relief for the final 8:40 of regulation against the Pens.

This marks the second half of back-to-backs for the Coyotes, who skated to a 3-2 shootout victory last night over the Nashville Predators at Gila River Arena. Rookie forward Christian Dvorak opened the scoring with his first career NHL goal. Selected 58th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, the Mokena, Illinois native helped lead the OHL's London Knights to a Memorial Cup championship last season after finishing the regular season with a team-leading 121 points (52g/69a).

Upcoming milestones include Sami Vatanen only one point shy from surpassing Ruslan Salei (105) for sole possession of eighth on the franchise's all-time scoring list for defensemen.

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