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NHL-leading Ducks take show on road vs. Panthers

by Jon Lane

DUCKS (15-3-1) vs. PANTHERS (3-11-4)


Last 10: Anaheim 8-1-1; Florida 1-5-4

Season series: The Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers meet for the first of two times in 2013-14. The Ducks, winners of five of the past six meetings, including three shutouts, travel to South Florida on March 23.

Big story: The Ducks begin a four-game road trip with the NHL's best record and winners of five straight games, the longest active streak in the League. Anaheim's 31-point start to the season matches the club record through 19 games (2012-13) and its 65 goals are the second-best in franchise history also through 19 games (66 in 1995-96).

Trending the opposite direction are the Panthers, who host the Ducks trying to avoid a 10-game losing streak for the first time since March 22-April 8, 2011. Florida is close to matching a franchise-high 13-game skid and another loss at BB&T Center will be its sixth straight on home ice.

Team Scope:

Ducks: Corey Perry's goal and assist and rookie goalie Frederik Andersen's 35 saves led the Ducks to a 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday that extended their record at Honda Center to 8-0-0.

"This team is starting to remind me of our 2006-07 Stanley Cup winner," Perry said. "We have a lot of younger players, but there are also veterans in the room that know what it takes to win a championship. It's all about hard work."

Panthers: Florida committed 10 giveaways Sunday and dropped its ninth straight with a 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers despite defenseman Brian Campbell's first two goals of the season.

"You are not going to win games if you turn pucks over," interim coach Peter Horachek said. "We are not going to get better until we decide we are going to manage the puck better. These are unforced errors. You can't win hockey games that way."

Who's hot: Andersen's 3-0-0 record, 1.33 goals-against average and .958 save percentage earned him the NHL's Second Star of the Week for Nov. 4-10. The rookie is 6-0-0 with a 1.41 GAA and a .952 save percentage. Perry (5-3-8) has a point in each game this month. Ryan Getzlaf has nine points in his past four games with a team-high 22 points on the season.

Injury report: Getzlaf (upper body) missed the game Sunday and will be out again Tuesday. Viktor Fasth (lower body) participated in a full practice Saturday. Fasth and Matt Beleskey (upper body) were each sent on a conditioning assignment. Sheldon Souray (wrist surgery), Jakob Silfverberg (broken hand) and Saku Koivu (head) are all on injured reserve … Panthers forward Scott Gomez (groin) is questionable. Ed Jovanovski (hip) is on IR.


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