The Ducks (10-8-4, 24 pts.) host the Montreal Canadiens (16-4-2, 34 pts.) tonight at Honda Center to conclude their game schedule for the month of November. The Ducks, who are 7-4-2 this month, are playing their lone home game in a five-game stretch this evening. The stretch began on Saturday in San Jose, a 3-2 Anaheim win, and will run through a three-game Western Canadian road trip that makes stops in Vancouver (Thursday), Edmonton (Saturday) and Calgary (Sunday). The Ducks have earned points in four of their past six games overall (7 pts., 3-2-1) and five of the past seven home games (9 pts., 4-2-1).
Tonight's contest opens a two-game season series between the Ducks and Habs. Anaheim is 13-11-4 all-time against the Canadiens, splitting the 2015-16 season set at 1-1-0. The Ducks own a 7-5-2 home record vs. Montreal, winning the last two games dating to March 4, 2015. Ryan Kesler's 14 points (5g/9a) in 17 career games against the Canadiens lead all current Ducks skaters. These two teams will meet again on December 20 at the Bell Centre to complete the season series.
The Ducks are coming off a 3-2 victory at SAP Center in San Jose on Saturday night that ended a three-game losing streak. It also marked the fifth consecutive game in which the final score was 3-2. The streak of identical scores began with a victory over the New Jersey Devils at Honda Center on November 17. Ryan Garbutt, Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf tallied goals in the win on Saturday, while Jonathan Bernier turned aside 21 shots to improve his record to 4-1-1 in nine appearances. The goal for Getzlaf was important not only because it served as the eventual game winner, but also ended his 15-game goal-less drought. Despite only having two goals this season, the captain has 16 assists and 18 points through 19 games.
Montreal is in the midst of its longest road trip of the season - a five-game, 12-day journey that covers three states and three time zones. It began with a 2-1 overtime victory in Detroit on Saturday and, after tonight, continues Friday in San Jose, Sunday in LA and concludes next Tuesday in St. Louis. The Canadiens enter tonight's game sitting atop the league with 34 points. They're nearly unbeatable at home (12-1-1) and have gone 4-3-1 away from the confines of Bell Centre. Currently on a two-game winning streak, the Habs have also earned points in seven of their past 10 (6-3-1).
The Ducks will likely face Carey Price, who has a staggering 13-1-1 record, 1.66 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. Price's lone regulation loss occurred on November 22 at home against the Ottawa Senators (4-3 L). Earlier this month, he became the first goaltender in NHL history to win each of his first 10 appearances to start a season. The only other goaltender to win at least each of his first 10 decisions in a season was former Ducks netminder Ray Emery, who did so with Chicago in 2012-13 (12-0-0 in 15 GP).
Upcoming milestones include Cam Fowler one power-play goal shy of tying Fredrik Olausson (22) for second on the franchise's all-time PPG list for defensemen, one power-play point from surpassing Olausson (88) for sole possession of third on the franchise's all-time PPP list for defensemen, and one point from tying Chris Kunitz (192) for 10th on the franchise's all-time scoring list; and Sami Vatanen one point from tying Lubomir Visnovsky (108) for seventh on the franchise's all-time scoring list for defensemen.