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Devils continue Western trip against Ducks

by Dave Lozo
DEVILS (2-7-1) at DUCKS (4-5-1)


Season Series:
This is the first and only meeting. In their one matchup last season, the Devils came away with a 3-1 victory in Newark on Nov. 11.

Big Story:
The Devils continue to struggle in every imaginable way. They have just one regulation win in 10 games and are dead last in goals and goals against. Meanwhile, the Ducks have righted the ship after an 0-3-0 start. They are 4-2-1 in their last seven and are returning home after going 2-2-0 on their road trip.

Team Scope:

Devils: The Sharks absolutely dismantled the Devils on Wednesday night, earning a 5-2 victory that saw Joe Thornton finish with 3 goals and 2 assists. The Devils looked good during the first 10 minutes, but the wheels came off when San Jose scored three goals and took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission.

"We started out good, getting the puck deep, then four turnovers and they get their first goal off it," coach John MacLean said. "It can be done. We can get the puck in deep, then go to work on it. I mean, that's what San Jose did. That's what their big line did all night. They got the pucks down low, then got the goals off it."

Ducks: They capped a four-game road trip with a 5-2 victory in Dallas on Tuesday night. They will be well-rested as they start a stretch of four of five at home. The Ducks won't leave California for a game until they play the Islanders on Nov. 10.

Bobby Ryan scored twice in Dallas and has 4 goals and 5 assists this season.

"At times he looked like the best player on the ice," coach Randy Carlyle said Tuesday. "He was skating and when he does that, he's a dynamic player."

Who's Hot: Dainius Zubrus has been the rare bright spot for the Devils. The right wing has 1 goal and 5 assists in his last 5 games. … Teemu Selanne is showing no signs of slowing at the age of 40. After just 1 assist in his first three games, he has 5 goals and 4 assists in his last seven.

Injury Report: The Devils will be without defensemen Matthew Corrente (hand) Anton Volchenkov (neck), Mark Fraser (hand) and Bryce Salvador (concussion). Left wing Brian Rolston (groin) is also out.

For the Ducks, right wing Dan Sexton (broken nose) and defenseman Andy Sutton (thumb) are out. Defenseman Cam Fowler (neck) could return against the Devils. Left wing Matt Beleskey left Tuesday's game as the result of a boarding penalty and his status is questionable.

Stat Pack:
The Devils are off to their worst start since 1983-84, when they opened with a 1-12-0 record. … The breakaway goal scored by the Ducks' George Parros on Tuesday was his 14th career goal in 298 NHL games.

Puck Drop: "I've met him many times, and I never imagined I'd score more goals than him. It's unbelievable, when you look back at your career, the numbers. Good things happen when you play long." -- Selanne, on passing Bobby Hull on the all-time goals list with his 615th goal on Tuesday.

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