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Preview: Homestand Concludes Tonight vs. Nashville

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (33-22-10, 76 pts.) wrap up a three-game homestand against the Nashville Predators (32-24-9, 73 pts.) this evening at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). Anaheim has won three of its last four home games (3-1-0), having outscored opponents by a margin of 12-7 during the four-game stretch. The Ducks have 17 games remaining on their regular season schedule, including 10 at home and seven on the road. Anaheim will play 14 games in a 28-day stretch (nine home games and five road contests) that features two sets of back-to-back games.

The club enters tonight's game tied for the league's fifth-best penalty kill at 84.9% overall, are second in fewest goals allowed (64) and tied for the sixth-most home wins (20-8-3). Anaheim's upcoming schedule includes a two-game Midwest road trip that includes stops in Chicago on Thursday (5:30 p.m. PT) and St. Louis on Friday (5 p.m. PT).

Tonight's matchup concludes the three-game season series between the Ducks and Predators. Lopsided scores have been the theme through the first two games of the series, beginning with a 6-1 Ducks victory at Honda Center on October 26 and a 5-0 Predators win on November 12 at Bridgestone Arena. Anaheim is 37-22-7 all-time against Nashville, going 10-4-0 in its past 14 overall meetings dating to Jan. 26, 2013. Ryan Getzlaf paces current Anaheim skaters in career scoring vs. Nashville, picking up 37 points (11g/26a) in 35 games.

The Ducks have alternated wins and losses for the past 10 games (5-5) and all of a sudden find themselves in a tie for third place in the Pacific Division with the Calgary Flames. If the Ducks lose in regulation tonight, they'll get pushed to the first wild card spot because Calgary holds the tiebreaker in regulation/overtime wins (33 to Anaheim's 31). For what it's worth, the Ducks are 24-6-3 all-time at Honda Center vs. the Predators, winning the last four and six of the last seven (6-1-0).

This marks the opener of a three-game California swing for the Predators, who will also take on the LA Kings on Thursday and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. It appears to be third place or wild card for Nashville, which currently sits 16 points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division, but just four points ahead of the St. Louis Blues (second wild card). Though they've lost two in a row, including a 5-3 defeat to the Blackhawks on Saturday, the Predators are 6-3-1 in their last 10 overall.

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