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Preview: Ducks Aim for Third Consecutive Win Tonight Against Hurricanes

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

With wins in four of their past five games (4-1-0) and points in six of their past seven (4-1-2), the Ducks are looking to continue their improved play tonight as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT, with TV and radio coverage on Prime Ticket and AM 830, respectively.

The Ducks have gone 2-1-0 on this five-game road trip with consecutive wins over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in back-to-back fashion, and have found success against the Eastern Conference this season, going 5-2-2 overall with a 3-1-1 mark vs. the Atlantic Division and a 2-1-1 record against the Metropolitan. They enter tonight's game with four consecutive victories over the Hurricanes and four in a row at PNC Arena dating to Feb. 12, 2015. Additionally, the Ducks have gone 8-2-1 vs. Carolina since Feb. 23, 2003. Ryan Kesler leads active Ducks scoring against the Hurricanes with 14 points (8g/6a) in 14 games.

Earlier today it was announced that the Ducks recalled rookie defenseman Josh Mahura from the San Diego Gulls. The 20-year-old blueliner was impressive in his three-game stint with Anaheim earlier this month, earning an assist and a +3 rating. Selected by Anaheim in the third round (85th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Mahura collected nine points (1g/8a) in 14 games with the Gulls this season. At the time of his recall, the 6-0, 192-pound defenseman led San Diego d-men in points and assists.

Hampus Lindholm (lower body) took line rushes with Brandon Montour during the morning skate today, according to reports from Raleigh. Lindholm has missed the past six game with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Ben Street remains with the club after clearing waivers at 9 a.m. PT today.

The Hurricanes enter tonight's game with a 12-9-3 record, tied in points with the New York Islanders for fourth place in the Metropolitan and one point behind the New York Rangers for third place. They've gone 6-3-1 in their past 10 games and have won five of their past seven. Journeyman goaltender Curtis McElhinney turned in a 48-save performance in Carolina's 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, and has stopped 145 of 150 shots in his past four games. He's posted a 1.25 goals-against average and .967 save percentage during that span. The 35-year-old netminder is expected to get the start tonight.

"We're playing a team tonight that's obviously doing something right when you talk about leading the league in shots for," said Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle. "They're creating 40-plus shots a game. When you watch the tape, they stretch the zone. They fly people. Sometimes they have five men on a rush. All those things are the template for new-age hockey."

The Ducks will have to find a way to contain Carolina's star center Sebastian Aho, who enters tonight's game with 25 points (7g/18a) in 24 games. Aho, 21, opened the season with an incredible 12-game assist/point streak (17 points, 4g/13a), the longest season-opening point streak and longest assist streak in franchise history. Despite his torrid start, Aho has just one assist/point in his past six games.

Rugged forward Micheal Ferland will miss his first game of the season tonight with a concussion, according to the Hurricanes' official website. With 11 goals and 81 hits this season (his first season with Carolina), Ferland is the only player in the NHL with at least 10 goals and 80 hits. The Ducks know him well from his days with the Calgary Flames.

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