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Preview: Ducks Close Out Homestand Tonight vs. Islanders

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

A season-opening four-game homestand concludes tonight when the Ducks (1-1-1, 3 points) host the visiting New York Islanders (1-1-1, 3 points) at Honda Center. The game is set for 7 p.m. PT and will be televised on Prime Ticket and broadcast on AM 830.

This marks the first of two meetings between the Ducks and Isles this season. Anaheim enters tonight's game with an all-time record of 12-12-6 vs. the Islanders, including a 6-6-5 mark at Honda Center. Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler paces the club in career scoring against the Isles with 12 points (3g/9a) in 11 games, representing his highest point total against any Eastern Conference opponent. These clubs will conclude the two-game season series on Thursday, December 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Anaheim enters tonight's game with a two-game losing streak, the most recent contest a 2-0 shutout defeat against the Calgary Flames on Monday. It represented the first home loss to the Flames in 26 regular-season contests. The Ducks finished the game with 43 shots on goal, including seven from Rickard Rakell, tying a career high. Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf made his season debut in the loss after missing the first two games with a lower-body injury.

This marks the opener of a three-game California road trip for the Islanders, who will face a back-to-back set with the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at SAP Center and the LA Kings on Sunday at STAPLES Center. After opening the season with a split decision in back-to-back games on the road at Columbus (5-0 loss) and at home against Buffalo (6-3 win) last Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Islanders earned a point in their most recent contest, a 3-2 shootout loss against the St. Louis Blues at Barclays Center on Monday. Islanders forward Casey Cizikas and captain John Tavares co-lead the team in scoring, each with two goals and three points through three games.

The Ducks will get their first look at New York's highly prized prospect Mathew Barzal. Selected in the first round (16th overall) of the 2015 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old center is coming off a memorable 2016-17 season with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds. Barzal finished second on the T-Birds in scoring during the regular season with 79 points (10g/69a) and was named the WHL Playoff MVP after recording 25 points (7g/18a) in 16 games to help lead the team to a WHL championship. Barzal is still looking for his first career NHL point, having gone scoreless in his first three NHL games this season.

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