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Preview: Ducks Continue Homestand Against Surging Blue Jackets

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

Two days after skating off with a 5-4 shootout victory, the Ducks are back on home ice to host the Columbus Blue Jackets this evening at Honda Center. (7 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). The Ducks enter tonight's game riding a four-game home point streak, going 3-0-1 for seven of eight points dating to Dec. 14. Going further back, the Ducks have points in five of seven home games since the start of December (4-2-1).

This wraps up a two-game season series finale between the Ducks and Blue Jackets, which saw Anaheim earn a 2-1 victory at Nationwide Arena on Oct. 11. That night, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf became the franchise's all-time leader in games played at 989. The Ducks own a 30-21-9 all-time record vs. Columbus, including a 16-9-5 mark at Honda Center. They've won four straight over the Blue Jackets and two straight at Honda Center (both one shy of club bests).


Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins says he wants to see more of what his team did for most of the game on Sunday vs. the Predators. They came out flying and peppered goaltender Juuse Saros with 21 shots in the first period (a season high for shots in a single period), and posted 36 shots through 40 minutes, trailing only Oct. 13, 2013 at Buffalo (45) for the highest such total through 40 minutes of a game in franchise history.

"I really believe offense starts with a mindset," Eakins said. "We certainly had the mindset of putting pucks [on net] and being diligent with our entries. We were hard on the puck by putting it back into the red zone. That kind of mindset becomes contagious."

They're facing a surging Blue Jackets team that has pulled within a point of the Florida Panthers for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. They're coming off a 4-2 victory last night in LA to give them a 9-1-4 record in their past 14 games. They were riding a 12-game point streak (8-0-4) until a 3-2 loss at home on Jan. 4 vs. San Jose.

Zach Werenski earned an assist in the victory last night in LA for his sixth point in his past four games (5g/1a). He was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the week ending Jan. 5 after he led the league with five goals, including a hat trick vs. Florida on New Year's Eve. The 22-year-old defenseman has 13 goals this season, tied for second in the NHL among blueliners.

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