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Preview: Homestand Continues Tonight vs. Winnipeg

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks (39-23-11, 89 points) play the second contest of a three-game homestand this evening against the Winnipeg Jets (33-34-7, 73 points) at Honda Center (7 p.m. PT, Prime Ticket/AM 830). The Ducks own a 5-1-1 record in their last seven games and a 6-2-1 mark dating to the end of their bye week on March 3. Furthermore, the Ducks have gone 6-1-1 in their last eight home contests and have posted a 14-4-2 record at Honda Center since January 1 (second among NHL teams in home standings points (30) and wins). The club currently ranks fifth in the league in PK% (84.9%), tied for fifth in fewest goals allowed (178) and fourth in goals against per game (2.44).

The Ducks have nine games remaining on their regular season schedule, including five at home. Anaheim will close out its current homestand on Sunday against the New York Rangers (6 p.m. PT) before hitting the road for a four-game Canadian road trip that begins next Tuesday at Vancouver.

Tonight's contest marks the halfway point of the three-game season series between the Ducks and Jets. Anaheim took the series opener, 3-2, on January 23 at MTS Centre on a night that featured Randy Carlyle earning his 300th win with the Ducks as the franchise's all-time winningest head coach. Logan Shaw (shorthanded), Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf tallied goals in the win, while Jonathan Bernier turned aside 31 shots.

The Ducks have an all-time record of 15-7-2 against the Jets franchise and are 8-2-1 in the last 11 overall games. In addition, Anaheim owns a 6-4-0 all-time home record vs. Winnipeg. Antoine Vermette paces active Ducks skaters in career scoring vs. the Jets franchise, collecting 16 points (3g/13a) in 31 career games. These two teams will conclude the season set next Thursday at MTS Centre (5 p.m. PT).

With a win tonight, coupled with a regulation loss for San Jose (at Dallas tonight), the Ducks can move into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with the Sharks and move two points ahead of the third-place Edmonton Oilers, who won 7-4 last night at Colorado. A win of any kind will also give the Ducks a five-point cushion on the Calgary Flames, who currently sit in the first wild card spot.

The Jets, meanwhile, are concluding a back-to-back set that began with a 5-2 loss last night to the LA Kings at STAPLES Center. Though the Jets are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention yet, they enter tonight's game 12 points behind Nashville for the second wild card spot with only eight games remaining.

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