Mighty Ducks-Penguins Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (25-26-9-8) at Pittsburgh Penguins (13-44-6-4).
TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
Another game, another dubious distinction is in sight for the Pittsburgh
The Penguins will look to avoid matching the longest home winless streak in
league history when they take on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Pittsburgh already set an NHL record with 14 straight home losses, three
more than any other team. The Penguins snapped that slide with a 3-3 tie
Tuesday against the New York Islanders, but are winless in their last 16 at
The Penguins can match the record for longest home winless streak with a tie
or a loss against the Mighty Ducks. Both the 1995-96 Ottawa Senators and the
1999-2000 Atlanta Thrashers suffered through 0-15-2 slides.
Earlier in the season, the Penguins became the first team to lose 18
straight games, although they avoided the official record by earning a point in
an overtime loss on Feb. 14.
"I never felt any extra pressure before, but we still want to win every
game," forward Ryan Malone said. "Hopefully we can get a couple more
victories at home for our fans."
The Penguins will have to shore up their penalty-killing if they hope to
avoid the record. Pittsburgh allowed a team-record six power-play goals in
Thursday's 9-4 loss to Nashville.
The Penguins have killed off just 71.6 percent of the power plays against
them at home (91-for-127).
However, prior to Thursday's lopsided loss, the Penguins had killed 18 of
their previous 21 short-handed situations (85.7 percent), going 2-1-1 in that
"Over the last few games the penalty kill was really good and was winning
us games," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "I don't want to say we're back to
our old ways, because the confidence is still pretty high."
The Mighty Ducks are coming off Friday's 5-2 win over Chicago. Anaheim has
lost just three of its last 14 (9-3-1-1).
Rob Niedermayer, who recently missed 15 games with a groin injury, scored
for the first time since Jan. 24, and Petr Sykora added his first goal in nine
games for the Ducks, who also got a goal from Sergei Fedorov.
STANDINGS: Mighty Ducks - 65 points, 4th place, 18 PB, Pacific Division.
Penguins - 36 points, 5th place, 52 PB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Fedorov, 24 goals, 31 assists and 55 points;
Garrett Burnett, 129 PIM. Penguins - Malone, 20 goals; Dick Tarnstrom, 25
assists and 37 points; Orpik, 113 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 4): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 16.5 percent (43
for 261), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85 percent (244 for 287), 7th. Penguins
- Power play: 14.9 percent (45 for 303), 24th. Penalty killing: 75.5 percent
(234 for 310), 30th.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Jean-Sebastien Giguere (15-25-5, 3 SO, 2.57
GAA); Martin Gerber (10-9-4, 2, 2.28). Penguins - Jean-Sebastien Aubin (2-8-0,
0, 3.25); Andy Chiodo (2-4-1, 3.80);
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 15, 2002; Mighty Ducks, 5-0. At Anaheim, Andy McDonald
scored two goals and Matt Cullen had four assists for Anaheim. Giguere stopped
19 shots for his team-record third straight shutout.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 8-19-3-4 on the road; Penguins - 7-22-4-0