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Penguins meet Ducks for only time this season

by Sergei J. Feldman
PENGUINS (6-6-1) at DUCKS (5-7-1)


Last 10:
Pittsburgh 5-4-1; Anaheim 5-4-1

Season series: This will be the first and only time the two teams will meet in the 2010-11 season. November is a common month for the two teams. Last season, they met twice within two weeks in November. Pittsburgh won both games, 4-3 and 5-2, respectively.

Big Story: After closing the first month of the season with two consecutive losses, the Ducks jumped off to a solid start in November with a 3-2 victory against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night. That game was the first of three consecutive home games for the Ducks, while Pittsburgh is in the midst of a four-game road trip and three-game Western Conference swing.

Team Scope:

Penguins: For the first time this season, backup goaltender Brent Johnson looked human in a 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. Prior to the loss, Johnson had posted a 5-0-1 record. Marc-Andre Fleury figures to get the nod against the Ducks and looks to bounce back from a shaky start to the 2010-11 season.

Ducks: The Ducks showed a lot of character with their victory against a hot Lightning team. Down 2-1 in the third period, the Ducks rallied for the tying goal and earned the extra point in overtime when Ryan Getzlaf scored. The Ducks will look to carry whatever momentum they mustered up into this game against the Penguins.

Who's hot: The Big Four of Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne in Anaheim are playing at a high level. Each has scored at least 4 goals and 6 assists through 13 games. … For Pittsburgh, role players have stepped up of late, as Tyler Kennedy has scored in two of his past three games, while Max Talbot has earned points in consecutive games.

Injury report:
Anaheim has no new injuries coming into its game against the Penguins, while Pittsburgh's Pascal Dupuis is questionable to play after leaving the team to be with his wife and newborn daughter.

Stat pack:
Selanne is on a roll with points in six of his past seven games for the Ducks, while Pittsburgh is looking to eclipse the .500 mark on the season.

Puck drop: After playing most of the season on right wing, Evgeni Malkin figures to play his second consecutive game at center, flanking Matt Cooke and a recently productive Kennedy.

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