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Preview: Ducks, Wings Conclude Season Series Tonight

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (19-12-8, 46 pts.) play the second game of a five-game homestand vs. the Detroit Red Wings (16-16-5, 37 pts.) tonight at Honda Center (7:30 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West/AM 830). The Ducks have earned standings points in a season-high five consecutive games (seven of a possible 10 points), their longest such streak since a 14-game streak from Feb. 9-March 7, 2016 (12-0-2). This homestand represents Anaheim's longest stretch at home since December 5-11 when the club enjoyed three consecutive games at Honda Center. The current homestand also features visits by Arizona on Friday (7 p.m. PT), Minnesota on Sunday (5 p.m. PT) and Dallas next Tuesday (7 p.m. PT).

Tonight's contest concludes the two-game season series between the former playoff rivals. These two teams first met on December 17 at Joe Louis Arena, a 6-4 Red Wings victory in Anaheim's final regular season game at JLA. (The Wings will move into their new home, Little Caesars Arena, for the start of next season). Both Rickard Rakell (two goals) and Ryan Kesler (two assists) recorded multi-point performances in the game. The Ducks are 25-45-12 against the Red Wings in the all-time series, including an 18-19-4 mark in Orange County. More recently, Anaheim is 7-4-0 vs. Detroit in the past 11 meetings.

Despite a barrage of shots from the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (55 to be exact), the Ducks not only found a way to earn a point, they survived the dreaded sudden death overtime frame to get the game to a shootout where Corey Perry's goal in the fifth round coupled with John Gibson's stop on Sean Couturier sealed the 4-3 victory. Gibson was under siege throughout the game and finished the night with 51 saves, tying a franchise record for most saves in a regular-season game while also setting a career high in most shots faced (54). Not to be forgotten, however, was Kesler's fourth career hat trick (his first as a Duck), which represented the 49th hat trick in franchise history. The trifecta marked his first hat trick since April 7, 2011 with Vancouver vs. Minnesota.

The Red Wings are coming off a wildly entertaining 5-4 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Centennial Classic held on January 1 at "Exhibition Stadium" (officially known as BMO Field) in Toronto. Rookies Anthony Mantha (Detroit) and Auston Matthews (Toronto) tied the single-game outdoor record for goals (2), while Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg's three assists tied the single-game outdoor record for assists and points (3). Mantha, in particular, shined with two goals and three points in the game, and nearly won it in the extra frame. The 6-5, 221-pound winger has nine goals and 16 points in 22 games with the Wings this season after dominating the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins. The Red Wings enter tonight's game with a 3-5-2 mark in their past 10 games, though they've done better on the road (9-6-2) than at home (7-10-3) this season.

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