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Preview: Ducks Open Road Trip Against Top Team in Western Conference

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

Maybe the road is where the Ducks (9-9-2, 20 points) regain their footing. The proof will be in the pudding of this gauntlet of a four-game trip that begins tonight against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. (5 p.m. PT, TV: FOX Sports West, Radio: AM 830).

Even without Vladimir Tarasenko (out long term due to shoulder surgery), the Blues are rolling. They enter tonight's game with the best record in the Western Conference and sit just three points back of the Washington Capitals (who the Ducks play Saturday) for the top spot in the NHL. The Blues are 12-3-5 overall, including a 5-1-3 mark at home. However, they've dropped two straight (in overtime/shootout) including a 3-2 OTL in Columbus last night. The Blues have earned points in nine straight games (7-0-2) and have gone 9-1-2 in their last 12.

David Perron (19 points, 8g/11a) and Ryan O'Reilly (19 points, 5g/14a) co-lead the Blues in scoring through 20 games this season. Perron, a former Duck, has four points (1g/3a) in his last four and leads the league with five game-winning goals, already a career high. O'Reilly comes in with 11 points (4g/7a) in his last nine games. His 96 points through his first 100 games with the Blues are the 11th-most in franchise history through a player's first 100 with the team. In his final year of a seven-year contract, Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo enters tonight's game with 17 points (6g/11a) - sixth most among NHL defensemen this season. The 29-year-old has seven points (1g/6a) in his last five and leads the Blues with 24:03 TOI per game.

For what it's worth, the Ducks have won three straight games in St. Louis dating to Nov. 29, 2017. Ryan Getzlaf enters tonight's matchup with 37 points (9g/28a) in 41 career games against the Blues, tops among active Ducks. Anaheim has an all-time mark of 43-38-11 vs. St. Louis, including an 18-21-8 mark at Enterprise Center.

Jakob Silfverberg (five points, 2g/3a) and Adam Henrique (five points, all assists) enter tonight's game on four-game point streaks. Henrique's point/assist streak is one shy of his career high for assists in consecutive games (last: Nov. 27-Dec. 5, 2018). Silfverberg, who has points in six of his last seven games (3g/5a), leads the Ducks in points (17) and goals (9), and ranks tied for second in assists (8).

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