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Preview: Ducks, Blackhawks Conclude Season Series Tonight in Chicago

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

The Ducks open a two-game road trip tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. (5:30 p.m. PT, TV: FOX Sports West, Radio: AM 830). Anaheim has won two of its last three games (2-1-0) and has earned points in three of the last four (2-1-1). They'll close out the road trip tomorrow night against Colorado. This is their ninth set of back-to-backs this season, which has seen the Ducks go 7-7-2 overall, including 4-3-1 in the opener.

Anaheim is coming off a 3-0 loss on Sunday night vs. New Jersey in the finale of a six-game homestand. Matt Irwin led all skaters with 22:56 TOI, while John Gibson turned aside 31-of-34 shots in his 49th start. Rickard Rakell led the team with five shots and Adam Henrique won a game-high 15 faceoffs and finished with a 71.4 FOW%.

Tonight is the finale of a three-game season series between the two clubs, which has seen the Blackhawks win the first two (4-2 on Jan. 11 at United Center and 3-2 on Nov. 3 at Honda Center). Sam Steel has two assists in his two games vs. Chicago, tops among Ducks skaters in season scoring. The Ducks hold an all-time record of 50-35-12 vs. the Blackhawks, including a 24-20-6 mark in Chicago. Ryan Getzlaf has 34 points (8g/26a) in 45 career games vs. Chicago, tops among active Ducks.

The Blackhawks have won two in a row with road victories over the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2) and Florida Panthers (3-2 shootout). Jonathan Toews scored his 50th career shootout goal in the win over the Panthers giving him the most shootout goals by any player since the NHL introduced shootouts during the 2005-06 season. That night, Toews skated in his 938th career NHL game, placing him in a tie with Dough Wilson for the eighth most games played in Blackhawks history.

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