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Preview: Ducks Open Three-Game Homestand vs. Blues

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Pacific Division-leading Ducks (24-13-8, 56 pts.) begin a three-game homestand tonight vs. St. Louis Blues (22-16-5, 49 pts.) at Honda Center (6 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). The Ducks, who have earned points in 10 of the past 11 games (7-1-3), are a league-best 11-2-4 vs. the Pacific Division (26 of their 56 points have come vs. division opponents, representing 46% of their 2016-17 point production). The club's seven wins and 16 points since Christmas rank second in the NHL behind only Washington (8-1-1, 17 pts.). In addition, Anaheim has allowed the fewest goals in the league since Christmas with 15.

On the PK, the Ducks are 34-for-38 for an 89.5% that is tops in the league since December 25. Through 45 games, the Ducks are four wins and nine points ahead of last year's pace (20-18-7, 47 pts. in 2015-16). Other comparables include goals for (120 this season to 89 last season), goals against (113 to 104), PP% (21.8 to 19.3), PK% (82.4 to 89.1) and FO% (55.0 to 51.7).

The three-game home set continues on Tuesday with Tampa Bay (7 p.m. PT) before wrapping up on Thursday vs. Colorado (7 p.m. PT). Upcoming milestones include Rickard Rakell one appearance shy of 200 career NHL games and Kevin Bieksa one assist from 200 career NHL assists.

Tonight's contest opens a three-game season series between the Ducks and Blues. The Ducks have posted a 39-35-10 all-time record vs. the Blues, including a 24-15-2 mark at Honda Center. Anaheim has won 10 consecutive home games against St. Louis dating to Jan. 7, 2010. Ryan Getzlaf owns 30 points (8g/22a) in 34 career games against the Blues, tops among all current Anaheim skaters. The Ducks and Blues will meet again on Friday, March 10 at Scottrade Center (5 p.m. PT) before concluding the season set on Wednesday, March 15 at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT).

The Ducks are coming off a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes last night at Gila River Arena. Hampus Lindholm, Nick Ritchie and Ryan Kesler tallied goals for the Ducks, who have taken the first three games of the four-game season series against their Pacific Division rival. Making his first start since December 20, Jonathan Bernier recorded his first shutout as a Duck and the 13th of his career to give the Ducks six wins in their past seven games.

St. Louis is also concluding a back-to-back tonight after a 4-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. Colton Parayko, David Perron, Jori Lehtera and Alex Steen netted goals for the Blues, who snapped a two-game skid. The Blues enter tonight's game with a 5-5-0 record in their past 10 games.

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