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Preview: Ducks Aim to Finish Year on a Winning Note in Vegas

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara / AnaheimDucks.com

The Ducks close out the year with an afternoon affair against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. Game time is set for 12 p.m. PT, with broadcast coverage on FOX Sports West and AM 830. With this being the final game of the decade, the Ducks come in with a 426-265-94 overall record (946 points) since Jan. 1, 2010. In that span, the Ducks own the fourth-best record in the Western Conference and the eighth-best mark in the NHL. This represents the best decade (by points percentage) in franchise history (.603), topping the previous 10-year stretches of 2000-09 (.533) and 1993-99 (.461).

It was only four days ago when the Ducks and Golden Knights faced one another at Honda Center, a game that saw the home club match the third-fastest three-goal stretch in franchise history. It took all but 97 seconds for the Ducks to turn a one-goal deficit into a 3-1 lead on goals from Adam Henrique (power play), Cam Fowler (power play) and Max Comtois. The victory, just the second of its kind against the Golden Knights all-time, also happened to be the first against Vegas at Honda Center. Since the Golden Knights entered the league for the 2017-18 season, the Ducks have gone 2-7-1 against them, including a 1-2-1 mark at T-Mobile Arena. Fowler (1g/3a) and Henrique (2g/2a) co-lead current Ducks skaters in career scoring against Vegas with four points apiece. These teams won't meet again until Sunday, Feb. 23 to conclude the season series at Honda Center.

This is the 18th New Year's Eve game in Ducks franchise history, the 10th played on the road and the first since 2015 at Edmonton. Anaheim's most frequent Dec. 31 opponent has been Minnesota (three games), followed by San Jose, Dallas and Columbus (two games each). The Ducks are 6-9-1* all-time on New Year's Eve, and are facing the Golden Knights for the first time on Dec. 31. (The Ducks earned a 2-2 tie in their first ever New Year's Eve game in 1995 vs. LA).

The Ducks are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss two nights ago against Philadelphia in the finale of a two-game homestand. The OTL gave the Ducks points for the third time in their past four games, but it also prevented them from winning consecutive games since late October/early November. Erik Gudbranson, who tallied his third goal of the season just 35 seconds into the game, enters today's contest one goal shy of his career high set in 2014-15 with Florida.

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