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Preview: Ducks Close Out Road Trip, Finish Back to Back Tonight vs. Vegas

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

Can the Ducks do to the Vegas Golden Knights what they did to the Colorado Avalanche less than 24 hours ago? Only time will tell, but after pulling off arguably their most impressive win of the season last night, the Ducks can cap off their four-game road trip on a high note tonight at T-Mobile Arena. (5 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830).

With identical 7-5-0 records, the Ducks and Golden Knights come into tonight's game on the heels of two vastly different outcomes - ironically against the same opponent. The Ducks needed a performance such as the one they delivered last night, a 5-2 triumph over the Avs. They pounced on an Avs team playing its second game in as many nights and got big goals at crucial junctures.

They'll need more of that tonight against a Golden Knights squad that got blown out 6-1 on home ice two nights ago against the Avs. Vegas has alternated wins and losses over the past four games, and has seen a usually potent offense dry up over that stretch. In fact, since posting 11 goals combined in back-to-back wins Oct. 12 and 13, the Golden Knights haven't scored more than three goals in the six games that followed. They've been limited to two goals or less in their past three. That could bode well for the Ducks, who enter tonight's game ranked second among NHL clubs in goals allowed per game (2.17). Anaheim has given up the fewest goals (26) through the first 12 games over the last five seasons and the second-fewest in 12 seasons (since 2007-08).

The Ducks have had their struggles against the Golden Knights dating back to Vegas' inaugural 2017-18 season, going 1-6-1 overall (1-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena). Rickard Rakell leads current Ducks in scoring vs. Vegas with three points (1g/2a) in seven games. The season series will continue with games Dec. 27 at Honda Center, Dec. 31 at T-Mobile Arena and Feb. 23 in Anaheim.

In his first full season with the Golden Knights, Mark Stone paces the team in scoring with 14 points (6g/8a). Stone opened the season with multiple points in three straight games, marking just the fourth time in his career he has had at least two points in three consecutive contests. This season, Stone is one of four players in the league with at least six goals and eight helpers, joining Edmonton's Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, and Buffalo's Jack Eichel. Stone has racked up 25 points (11g/14a) in 30 regular-season games since joining the Golden Knights last season.

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