NEWARK – The Ducks took to the ice this morning in preparation for tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (4 p.m., Prime Ticket, AM 830).
Anaheim enters tonight’s matchup riding a six-game winning streak, the second streak of six games or more for the club this season. Anaheim had a franchise-tying seven-game streak earlier this season (Oct. 5-Oct. 20, also Feb. 20-Mar. 7, 1999).
In addition, this marks the 10th win streak of six games or more in franchise history. The Ducks also have points in nine straight games (7-0-2, 16 points), marking the longest active point streak in the league and the second nine-game streak for Anaheim this season (also Oct. 25-Nov. 10). The club's last streak of 10 games or more occurred Feb. 27-Mar. 20, 2013 (12 games, 9-0-3).
The Devils enter tonight’s contest having won their first two of a three-game homestand. Their most recent victory came on Wednesday night when they tied their season-high for goals scored in a 5-2 win vs. Ottawa.
“They’re resilient,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “Every game is close. They know how to play. Sometimes they don’t get the luck and they lose, or their power play or penalty killing goes the wrong way and they lose. But every night they bring the same effort and tenacity. And either goalie can be great.”
The Ducks will be looking for a little payback in this game, for it was the Devils who handed Anaheim one of its two home losses this season, a 4-3 OT victory exactly one month ago today.
After Tuesday night's game at Detroit, the Ducks passed the halfway point of their road schedule by playing their league-leading 21st road game of the season. With an 11-7-3 road record, the Ducks rank third among NHL teams in road points (25).
“I don’t know how many miles we’ve put on before Christmas, but it’s a tad up there,” said Boudreau. “You realize the East is really easy, travel-wise.”
The Ducks enter tonight’s game on a three-game road winning streak (3-0-0) and have points in four consecutive games on the road (3-0-1) dating back to Nov. 30 at SJ (4-3 OTL). At the conclusion of this four-game road trip (Dec. 23 at Washington), Anaheim will have completed 59% of its road schedule and will not return to the Eastern Time Zone for the remainder of the season. In addition, the Ducks will have only four games in the Central Time Zone (Jan. 9 at NSH, Jan. 17 at CHI, Jan. 18 at STL, Feb. 8 at NSH) of the 16 remaining on the road schedule.
ROOTS IN NEW JERSEY
Kyle Palmieri grew up in nearby Montvale and has had a chance to catch up with family and friends during his three days in New Jersey. Much like Cam Fowler in Detroit three nights ago, Palmieri will have a large group attending tonight’s game.
“It’s pretty crazy,” he said. “I grew up playing hockey here and the rink I played my youth hockey at is only a few miles away. It’s a pretty cool experience and I’ll have a lot of friends and family here tonight. It’ll be a pretty fun night.”
Future Hall-of-Famers Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr are set to face each other for the second time this season (also Nov. 20 at Honda Center). They have a combined 1,372 goals and rank eighth (Jagr, 693) and 11th (Selanne, 679) on the NHL’s all-time goals list. This season’s match-ups mark the first time in 10 years that two NHL players with 675-or-more goals face each other in a contest. The last occurrence was Oct. 25, 2003 at MSG* (DET’s Brett Hull (717) and NYR’s Mark Messier (678)). Selanne (43) and Jagr (41) are the two oldest active players in the NHL.
The Ducks and Devils meet for the second time in one season since 2002-03. Tonight marks the final contest of the season series between the two clubs, with the first resulting in a 4-3 Ducks OT loss on Nov. 20 at Honda Center. Matt Beleskey, Nick Bonino and Ryan Getzlaf were the goal scorers for the Ducks, while Jonas Hiller stopped 21-of-25 shots in the OTL. All-time Anaheim is 8-13-4 against NJ. Tonight marks the first contest between the two clubs at Prudential Center since Feb. 17, 2012 (3-2 SO loss).