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Preview: Ducks Welcome the Islanders to Honda Center

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (9-7-3, 21 pts.) play the penultimate contest of a season-high five-game homestand vs. the New York Islanders (5-8-4, 14 pts.) tonight at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). Anaheim has won four of the past five games at home (outscoring opponents 18-7) and collected points in six of its past eight games overall (5-2-1, 11 pts.). The Ducks are 6-3-0 at Honda Center this season, ranking tied for eighth among NHL teams in home wins.

This matchup tonight concludes the two-game season series between the two clubs. The Ducks own an all-time record of 12-13-6 vs. the Islanders along with a 6-5-5 mark at Honda Center. Corey Perry (4g/6a in 11 games) and Antoine Vermette (2g/8a in 27 games) co-lead the Ducks in career scoring against the Islanders.

These two teams first met on October 16 at Barclays Center, a 3-2 overtime win for the Islanders. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf propelled Anaheim to the extra frame courtesy of his first goal of the season with one minute remaining in regulation. Getzlaf (1g/1a) and Cam Fowler (1g/1a) co-led the team in scoring, while Sami Vatanen and Nick Ritchie earned assists in the OT setback. Goaltender John Gibson got the start in the second game of a back-to-back set, turning aside 27-of-30 shots.

The Ducks most recently saw their four-game home winning streak come to an end in a 3-2 loss to the LA Kings on Sunday night. After giving up three goals in the middle frame, the Ducks roared back with two unanswered tallies from Vermette and Rickard Rakell in the third period. The comeback ultimately fell short despite a power play in the closing minutes of the game.

"We need to get back to doing what we did in the third period last game," said Getzlaf. "I didn't think we showed up to play in the first two periods. It was a matter of the Kings coming in here and playing their game, and we didn't. We're going to get back to that."

New York comes into town in desperate need of a win. The Isles are winless in their past four games (0-2-2) and have only managed to earn one victory over the past eight (1-3-4).

"This is a hockey club that's trying to find its identity," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "Usually what teams will do is go out on the road and forge that identity. We better be ready for a team that's hungry. They're going to come in here and play the best game they possibly can. We know there won't be any secrets about what they're going to bring to the table."

Tonight marks the first of a three-game West Coast swing for the team from Brooklyn, which continues tomorrow in LA and concludes on Friday in San Jose. The Islanders are led in scoring by their captain John Tavares, who enters tonight's game with 13 points (5g/8a) in 17 games. Following close behind is Brock Nelson, who has 12 points (5g/7a) through 17 contests.

The Ducks are spending the remainder of November in California with the exception of a travel day to Vancouver next Wednesday. Following tonight's game, Anaheim will conclude the homestand against the Chicago Blackhawks on Black Friday. The Ducks will also play five consecutive home games from January 1-10, beginning with their first New Year's Day home game in franchise history against the Philadelphia Flyers.

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