Update: Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is out for tonight's game with a lower body injury.
The Ducks (20-12-8, 48 pts.) reach the halfway point of the 2016-17 regular season in Game 41 as they host the Arizona Coyotes (11-22-5, 27 pts.) tonight at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West/AM 830). Through 40 games, the Ducks are three wins and seven points ahead of last year's pace (17-16-7, 41 pts. in 2015-16). Other comparables include goals for (107 this season to 75 last season), goals against (108 to 95), PP% (23.3 to 19.6), PK% (81.9 to 89.4) and FO% (55.6 to 51.7).
The Ducks have earned standings points in a season-high six consecutive games (nine of a possible 12 points, 3-0-3), their longest such streak since a 14-game streak from Feb. 9-March 7, 2016 (12-0-2). Anaheim is also riding a season-high seven-game home point streak (6-0-1), its best since a 10-game home streak from Jan. 20-March 14, 2016 (9-0-1, 19 pts.).
This five-game homestand, which has opened with consecutive wins against Philadelphia and Detroit, represents Anaheim's longest stretch at home since December 5-11 when the Ducks enjoyed three straight games at Honda Center. The current homestand also includes visits by Minnesota on Sunday (5 p.m. PT) and Dallas on Tuesday (7 p.m. PT).
Anaheim continues a four-game season series against Arizona, marking the shortest season set between the two clubs since 2012-13 (four games, 1-1-2 record for Anaheim). The Ducks are 11-2-3 in their past 16 games vs. the Coyotes and own an all-time record of 68-34-19 vs. their Pacific Division rival (38-16-8 at home). Anaheim has also won three in a row and gone 7-2-2 in the past 11 at Honda Center. These two teams will meet again next Saturday, January 14 at Gila River Arena (5 p.m. PT). The Ducks will travel again to Arizona to conclude the season series on Monday, February 20 (6 p.m. PT).
After allowing 55 shots on Sunday night against the Flyers, the Ducks locked it down defensively two nights ago by giving up 23 shots in a 2-0 victory over the Red Wings. It was a stark contrast to the New Year's Day game, and two consecutive days of practice between the matchups seemed to pay off. John Gibson earned his second shutout of the season and the eighth of his career to improve his record to 14-9-7 this season, and the team's third line composed of Nick Ritchie, Antoine Vermette and Ondrej Kase factored in on both goals. Ritchie opened the scoring in the first period by burying a rebound chance past Petr Mrazek with Vermette and Kase earning assists. Then, after a penalty kill late in regulation, Kase responded with a goal of his own after receiving a soccer-style skate pass from Vermette. It was the first multi-point game of Kase's young career.
The Coyotes, meanwhile, enter tonight's game riding an eight-game losing streak that began on December 17 in Minnesota and included a winless five-game homestand. This marks the finale of a three-game road trip that has losses in Calgary on New Year's Eve and Wednesday night in Vancouver. Veteran forward Radim Vrbata leads the club in scoring with 24 points (9g/15a) and also paces the club in shots on goal (115).