By Kyle Shohara
Less than 24 hours after Anaheim pushed its winning streak to six games – a win that was greater than a one-goal margin for the first time in 12 previous victories – the Ducks are right back at it tonight in Winnipeg. Tonight is the second game of a five-game road trip for the Ducks and the first of two sets of back-to-backs on this trek through Canada.
The Ducks enter tonight’s action atop the NHL with a 20-6-5 record. Anaheim leads the league in standings points (45) and co-leads in wins (20). The Jets, meanwhile, sit in fourth place in the Central Division and seventh in the Western Conference with a 15-9-6 record (36 points). In their first meeting of the season, Dec. 6 at MTS Centre, the Ducks came away with a 4-3 OT victory, courtesy of Kyle Palmieri’s second career overtime goal 53 seconds into the extra frame.
Anaheim is 4-4-0 in back-to-back games this season, including 2-2-0 in the second game. Dating to the start of the 2013-14 season, Anaheim is 23-9-4 in back-to-back situations and 13-3-2 in the second game, an NHL best by win percentage (.778).
“If you think just because it’s a back-to-back that you’re not going to have success, then you usually don’t,” said Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau. “You have to believe that you can do it. We have [tomorrow] off. It should be a heck of a game.”
This current road trip will also make stops in Toronto (Dec. 16), Montreal (Dec. 18) and Ottawa (Dec. 19). Anaheim's final game before the Christmas break will be played on Dec. 22 vs. San Jose at Honda Center.
SWEATING IT OUT
The Ducks lead the NHL with 15 wins in one-goal games (15-0-5) and join Vancouver as the only two NHL teams without a regulatIon loss in a game decided by one goal. Anaheim also ranks third among NHL teams for winning percentage in one-goal games (.750). Since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the Ducks have posted a 56-6-19 record in one-goal games, owning the top record in the NHL by win percentage (.809).
In addition, Anaheim leads the league with 11 overtime/shootout games in 2014-15, representing 37% of the club's schedule. The Ducks played nine OT/SO contests in the first 21 games from Oct. 9-Nov. 20 to match a 2003-04 franchise record to start a season. From Oct. 31-Nov. 20, Anaheim went beyond regulation in eight of 10 games, a franchise first in any 10-game stretch. The Ducks went to overtime 18 times (22%) in 2013-14, just over half of this season's current pace.
Mark Fistric – Played one season with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose (2008-09)
Dany Heatley – Drafted by Atlanta in the first round (second overall) of the 2000 NHL Draft. Played three seasons with the Thrashers (2001-04).
Ryan Kesler – Played two seasons for the Manitoba Moose (2003-05).
Colby Robak – Born in Dauphin, Manitoba
NOTES FROM LAST NIGHT
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the goals by Palmieri (0:07) and Ryan Getzlaf (0:51) in the second period of last night’s win marked the first time in franchise history that the Ducks scored multiple goals in the first minute of any period. Palmieri’s goal also was the fastest ever by a Ducks player from the start of any period.
Sami Vatanen (1g/1a) reached a new career-high with 23 points this season (8g/15a). Among NHL defensemen, Vatanen ranks fourth in points (23), first in power-play goals (5) and ranks tied for second in power-play points (13).
Rene Bourque (2a) picked up his first multi-point effort of the season while Palmieri (2g/3a) and Kesler (4g/2a) both extended point streaks to four games.
Extending his career-long consecutive starts streak to 17 games, Frederik Andersen improved his record to 16-4-4 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. Andersen's 17-game streak is the most by an Anaheim goaltender since Jonas Hiller started a club-record 32 straight from Jan. 12-Mar. 18, 2012.