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Ducks-Senators Preview @NHL

The last time the Anaheim Ducks traveled to Ottawa, they left Canada's capital city one win away from the Stanley Cup title - a championship they would earn at home in 2007.

Right now, both the Ducks and Senators have far more work to do before thinking about a return to the Cup finals.

Both clubs will try to reverse some early-season struggles when they meet on Friday night at Scotiabank Place in their lone matchup of 2008-09.

The Ducks have fond memories of their last trip to Ottawa, as a 3-2 victory in Game 4 of the 2007 finals gave them a 3-1 series lead. They captured the franchise's first title with a 6-2 win in Game 5 in Anaheim.

After losing in the first round of last season's playoffs, Anaheim (2-5-0) hasn't looked like a contender so far this season, opening with four straight losses before finally earning a 4-0 win over San Jose last Friday.

Coach Randy Carlyle's club will be going for an Ontario sweep after notching their first road win on Tuesday, 3-2 in a shootout over Toronto. But the Ducks were outshot 38-21 - including 13-0 in the third period - and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere wasn't pleased.

"We have to start somewhere," he said. "We'll take any two points we can get, but we need a better 60-minute effort."

Among the Ducks' problems is a struggling offense, as Teemu Selanne has just one point in seven games while the top line of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Chris Kunitz has been held without a goal after combining for 74 last season.

Ottawa (2-3-1), meanwhile, got back to the playoffs in 2007-08 but was swept in the opening round by Pittsburgh. Those struggles seem to have carried over, as the Senators have lost three of four to start their first homestand of the season while their normally prolific offense has sputtered.

They've scored just three goals in their last two games, dropping both. In Wednesday's 3-1 home loss to Florida, the Senators fell behind 2-0 in the first period then failed to score on 26 third-period shots.

"It's frustrating," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We really wanted to get off to a good start and they got us on our heels. We struggled to get out of our own end and obviously they got some breaks right away.

"We were a much better team in the second and the third, but it's tough when you give up two goals early."

Backup goalie Alex Auld will be in net for the Senators in place of Martin Gerber, who played for Anaheim from 2002-04. Auld has started just one game this season, making 30 saves in a 3-1 win over the Penguins in his Ottawa debut on Oct. 5 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Auld will have to overcome a spotty history against Anaheim. He's 2-5-0 with a 4.32 goals-against average in his career versus the Ducks, allowing four or more goals in five of his last six starts against them while playing with three different teams.

Ottawa, which will embark on a four-game road trip after this contest, is still seeking revenge for its Cup finals loss to Anaheim - the Ducks won last season's lone meeting 3-1 on March 3 in Anaheim.

Giguere stopped 24 shots, improving to 8-3-0 with a 2.17 GAA including postseason play in his career against the Senators.

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