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Preview: Ducks Open New Year at Home Against Flyers

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (18-12-8, 44 pts.) begin 2017 by opening a five-game homestand tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers (20-14-4, 44 pts.) at Honda Center (5 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). This homestand represents Anaheim's longest stretch at Honda Center since December 5-11 when the Ducks enjoyed a three-game homestand. The Ducks have standings points in four consecutive games (five of a possible eight points) following a 1-0-1 road trip to Calgary and Vancouver. The current homestand also features visits by Detroit on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. PT), Arizona on Friday (7 p.m. PT), Minnesota on Sunday (5 p.m. PT) and Dallas on Tuesday, January 10 (7 p.m. PT).

Believe it or not, this marks the first New Year's Day game at Honda Center in franchise history. Tonight's game represents Anaheim's seventh January 1 appearance overall and the second in as many years. Last year the Ducks dropped a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. Anaheim enters tonight's game with a 3-2-1 all-time mark in New Year's Day games. Anaheim faced Florida in its first two New Year's Day games in 1994 and 1997 - the '97 game marked the first of three consecutive January 1 games for Anaheim, which faced Washington in 1998 and Buffalo in 1999. The Ducks also played in Nashville on Jan. 1, 2006.

Tonight's contest wraps up the two-game season series between the two clubs, which began with a 3-2 Ducks victory on October 20 at Wells Fargo Center. The Ducks have won a club-record seven straight over the Flyers to improve their record to 16-8-7 in the all-time season series. Anaheim has not lost to Philadelphia in regulation since the 2007-08 campaign, going 10-0-2 in the process. The Ducks have also won three in a row against the Flyers in Anaheim dating to Jan. 30, 2014, another franchise first.

Anaheim closed its 2016 calendar with a 3-2 overtime loss in Vancouver on December 30, a disheartening defeat considering the club jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Ryan Getzlaf (shorthanded) and Rickard Rakell. But fatigue appeared to set in from the second half on, and the Canucks roared back with three unanswered goals of their own, including the game winner from Henrik Sedin with 59 seconds remaining in overtime.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, enters the game riding a three-game losing streak that most recently included a 2-0 shutout defeat in San Jose on Friday. In addition, the Flyers have dropped five of their past six games (1-4-1) and have been outscored 18-7 during that span (shootout goals excluded). It wasn't too long ago when the Flyers reeled off 10 consecutive victories from November 27-December 14, their longest winning streak since 1985 when they won 13 straight games.

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