The Ducks (38-24-12, 88 points) continue their final multi-city road trip of the season tonight as they take on the Winnipeg Jets (44-19-10, 98 points) at Bell MTS Place. (5 p.m. PT, TV: FOX Sports West, Radio: AM 830).
Anaheim enters tonight's contest riding a season-tying four-game winning streak with victories at home over the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils, and a road win two nights ago over the Calgary Flames. The Ducks have also gone 11-4-1 over their last 16 games and 19-9-3 since their bye week.
By virtue of the LA Kings winning last night (7-1 at Colorado), the Ducks were bumped from third place in the Pacific Division to the second wild card. They are one point behind the Kings with a game in hand and have the same amount of points as the Avs, who hold the tiebreaker with 39 regulation/overtime wins compared to Anaheim's 34. San Jose defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime last night giving them a five-point cushion on the Ducks with the same amount of games played.
"We need every point we can get," said Anaheim's leading scorer, Rickard Rakell (31g/32a). "Even though we put together a streak here, not much has changed. It's still a matter of one point here and one point there and we could be out of it. We have to fight all the way in." The Ducks have a three-point edge on the St. Louis Blues, who have a game in hand.
Originally expected to miss up to two weeks, 43-goal scorer Patrik Laine could be an option tonight for the Jets, according to head coach Paul Maurice. The 19-year-old blocked a shot in Tuesday's game against LA, but skated this morning and will be re-evaluated later today.
Defenseman Jacob Trouba is listed as day to day with a concussion suffered in last Sunday's game against Dallas. It was just his second game back after missing 20 with a lower-body injury. Other injured Jets include goaltenders Michael Hutchinson (concussion) and Steve Mason (knee). Rookie forward Jack Roslovic did not practice yesterday because he was under the weather and his availability tonight depends on how he feels, according to the team's official website.
Winnipeg is riding a four-game home winning streak and co-leads the league in home points (56), and wins (27). They have also scored a league-leading 139 goals at home this season, while giving up just 89. The Jets enter tonight's game with a 7-2-1 mark in the month of March and sit eight points behind the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators.
This concludes the three-game season series between the Ducks and Jets and the lone game held in Winnipeg. They have split the first two games of the season set at Honda Center - a 4-1 Jets victory on November 24 and a 4-3 Ducks shootout win on January 25. The Ducks have a 17-8-3 all-time record against the Jets franchise and have points in 11 of the last 12 games (9-1-2) dating to March 31, 2014. Chris Kelly has 22 points (10g/12a) in 34 games to lead active Ducks in career scoring against the Jets. Ryan Kesler has points in three straight games (1g/2a) and in five of his last seven (3g/3a). Corey Perry has four goals and five points in his last six games against Winnipeg.