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Preview: Ducks, Jets Close out Season Series

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Pacific Division-leading Ducks (42-23-11, 95 points) play the second game of their final regular-season road trip tonight vs. the Winnipeg Jets (35-35-7, 77 points) at MTS Centre (5 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West/The Mighty 1090). The Ducks, who have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a franchise-record fifth consecutive season, are tied for the longest active winning streak in the NHL (5-0-0). The team also owns a season-high eight-game point streak (7-0-1, 15 points), is 9-1-1 in the last 11 games and 10-2-1 dating to the end of its bye week on March 3, which co-leads NHL teams in wins and ranks tied for second in points (21). During the five-game win streak, Anaheim has outscored its opponents, 19-9.

Anaheim is one of six NHL teams and the only Pacific Division club that has qualified for the postseason in the last five consecutive seasons, joining the Pittsburgh Penguins (11 straight), Chicago Blackhawks (9) New York Rangers (7), St. Louis Blues (6) and Minnesota Wild (5). During the five-year stretch, the Ducks have posted a 223-104-43 record, ranking second among NHL teams in points (489) and points percentage (.661), and third in wins. Anaheim has also reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

Tonight's matchup concludes the three-game season series between the Ducks and Jets. Anaheim has an all-time record of 16-7-2 against the Jets franchise and owns a nine-game point streak (8-0-1) dating to March 31, 2014. In addition, the Ducks own a 9-3-0 road record with wins in the last five games. Anaheim is 2-0-0 vs. Winnipeg this season, including a 3-2 win on January 23 at MTS Centre and a 3-1 victory on March 24 at Honda Center. Patrick Eaves owns five points (3g/2a) in six games against the Jets this season, tops among current Ducks skaters. Antoine Vermette leads the way in career scoring vs. the Jets franchise, collecting 16 points (3g/13a) in 32 career games. Following tonight's game, the Ducks continue their four-game trek with stops in Edmonton on Saturday (7 p.m. PT) and Calgary on Sunday (6:30 p.m. PT). Upcoming milestones include Randy Carlyle one win shy of surpassing Michel Therrien (406-303-105) for sole possession of 34th place all-time among NHL coaches and Hampus Lindholm one appearance shy of 300 NHL games.

Yesterday the Ducks recalled forward Ondrej Kase from the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, perhaps as an extra body if captain Ryan Getzlaf misses his second consecutive game tonight. Getzlaf took warmups on Tuesday in Vancouver but ended up being a late scratch due to a lower-body injury. The Ducks, collectively, stepped up in his absence in their 4-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks. With two big games coming up on Saturday and Sunday, Getzlaf might opt to use today as an additional recovery day. Anaheim's pregame skate later this morning could provide an update on his status.

The Jets are coming off a 4-3 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday night, giving them two consecutive wins and five in their last 10 games (5-4-1). Even though they won't make the playoffs, the Jets can still have a say in where other playoff-bound teams place in the standings. Including tonight's game, all five of their remaining contests are against teams jockeying for playoff positioning. They face the Ducks tonight, who currently hold a two-point lead on the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers. On Saturday they host Ottawa (Atlantic Division, second place), four points behind Montreal and four points ahead of Toronto. Next Tuesday they travel to St. Louis, which currently sits in third place in the Central Division one point ahead of Nashville (second wild card). From there, the Jets move on to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets (Metropolitan, second place) on Thursday. They will conclude their regular season schedule on April 8 at home against Nashville.

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