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Ducks Return from All-Star Break in Race for Division

by Anaheim Ducks /

The Ducks (27-15-9, 63 pts.) return from the All-Star break tomorrow with a 27-15-9 record and 63 points, good for third place in the Pacific Division and one point from a tie for the division lead with San Jose and Edmonton. Anaheim's .618 points percentage is its third-best coming out of an All-Star break in franchise history, trailing only 2014-15 (.723) and 2006-07 (.680). The Ducks have gone 9-3-1 in January, marking a season high in wins for a single month this season. Anaheim has held opponents to two goals-or-less in 10 of the last 12 games (20 GA total), held teams without a power-play goal in eight of the last nine games, and scored a PPG in four of the last five contests.

CHRISTMAS FEELING: Anaheim has posted a 10-3-3 record since Christmas, ranking tied for second among NHL teams in standings points and tied for third in wins. In addition, Anaheim (30) and Vancouver (30) have allowed the fewest goals in the league since Christmas. On the penalty kill, the Ducks are 49-for-54 for a 90.7% that leads the league since Dec. 25.

ALL-STARS: Ryan Kesler and Cam Fowler participated in the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend this past weekend in Los Angeles as members of the Pacific Division team. Both Kesler and Fowler scored in the Pacific Division's 10-3 win over the Central in the opening game of Sunday's 3-on-3 tournament. Kesler was making his second career All-Star appearance following his All-Star debut in 2011 in Carolina. In addition, Fowler was the fifth defenseman and the youngest blueliner in franchise history to appear in an All-Star Game. During Saturday's All-Star Skills Competition, the Pacific Division's lone goal in the Discover NHL Shootout came off the stick of Ryker Kesler, the six-year-old son of Ryan Kesler who went five-hole against Montreal's Carey Price.

RANKED: All-Star Ryan Kesler has 31 points (16g/15a) in his last 39 games and leads Anaheim in scoring (39 points, 18g/21a), ranks second in goals and third in assists this season. Among faceoff leaders, Kesler (644) is second only to Boston's Patrice Bergeron (658) in faceoff wins while also ranking seventh in faceoff win percentage (57.6%, min. 500 FO). Rickard Rakell has scored 16 goals in his last 32 games and is tied for second in the NHL in goals per game (0.50; min. 20 games) behind only Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby (0.67). Rakell currently leads Anaheim in goals with 20, matching his career high established in 2015-16. Among NHL defensemen, All-Star Cam Fowler ranks fourth in goals (10), fifth in PPG (5) and tied for fourth in GWG (3). Since Christmas (min. five starts), John Gibson ranks second among NHL goaltenders in GAA (1.79) and SV% (.938), tied for second in shutouts (2) and fourth in wins (8). Overall this season, Gibson ranks tied for seventh in shutouts (3). Gibson made a career-high 10 starts from Dec. 22-Jan. 12, which also matched his career best in consecutive appearances (last: Feb. 10-Mar. 1, 2015).

A LOOK INTO FEBRUARY: The Ducks on Wednesday embark on a season-long 14-day, six-game road trip that makes stops in Florida (Friday, Feb. 3, 4:30 p.m. PT), Tampa Bay (Saturday, Feb. 4, 4 p.m. PT), New York Rangers (Tuesday, Feb. 7, 4 p.m. PT), Buffalo (Thursday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m. PT), Washington (Saturday, Feb. 11, 4 p.m. PT) and Minnesota (Tuesday, Feb. 14, 5 p.m. PT). Anaheim will play only three games at Honda Center during the month of February after hosting a season-high 10 home games in January.

MILESTONE MARKERS: Upcoming milestones include Corey Perry one point to 700 NHL points, Kevin Bieksa one assist shy of 200 career NHL assists, Cam Fowler one goal from tying Oleg Tverdovsky (45) for third on the franchise's all-time goals list for defensemen and Hampus Lindholm one goal from surpassing Ruslan Salei (26) for sole possession of 10th on the franchise's all-time goals list for defensemen.

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