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Ducks, Blue Jackets look to continue hot play

by Corey Masisak and Ben Raby /

DUCKS (8-3-0) at BLUE JACKETS (5-5-0)


Last 10: Ducks 8-2-0; Blue Jackets 5-5-0

Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus won the final two of the three contests between the teams in 2012-13, claiming both victories in overtime.

Big story: The Blue Jackets have rebounded from a four-game losing streak, and could stretch their winning run to four with a victory against the Ducks, who are playing the fourth contest in an eight-game road trip.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Anaheim started this long road trek with back-to-back losses, but rebounded with a costly (see the injury report) 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators. The Ducks entered play Saturday 10th in the League in goals per game (3.1) and 10th in goals allowed per contest (2.5).

The problem for the Ducks has been on special teams. Anaheim is last in the NHL on the power play (6.8 percent) and 26th on the penalty kill (75.6). Add the two percentages together and that's 82.4 percent. The Edmonton Oilers (a combined 86. 5 percent) are the only other team in the NHL below a combined 90 percent.

Blue Jackets: Columbus started the season with five losses in seven games, including a four-game losing streak in which it scored a total of six goals. But the offense has sprung to life in the past three contests with 12 goals.

Last season, the Blue Jackets yielded three shots on goal more per game than they were credited with, and their negative differential was 4.6 at even strength. That placed them 27th in the League, and forced them to rely heavily on Sergei Bobrovsky to keep them in games. Columbus has improved in this area in 2013-14, and after outshooting the Toronto Maple Leafs 36-25 on Friday night, the Blue Jackets now have 318 shots on goal for and 318 against this season.

Who's hot: Patrick Maroon has goals in back-to-back contests and a point in four straight contests for the Ducks. … Marian Gaborik has a goal in each of Columbus' three straight victories.

Injury update: Jakob Silfverberg was lost for at least a month because of a broken hand incurred Friday night against the Ottawa Senators. Center Mathieu Perreault also sprained his left wrist in the contest and is listed as day-to-day. The Ducks already had four players -- defensemen Sheldon Souray (wrist) and Luca Sbisa (ankle), goaltender Viktor Fasth (lower body) and forward Matt Beleskey (upper body) on Injured Reserved. Dustin Penner (concussion) is expected to join the team in Columbus. … The Blue Jackets are missing a trio of forwards -- Nathan Horton (shoulder), Cody Bass (thumb) and Matt Calvert (abdomen) -- who are all on Injured Reserve.

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