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Sens set to host rare meeting with Ducks

by Eric Goodman
DUCKS (25-19-4) at SENATORS (17-23-6)


Last 10: Anaheim 7-3-0; Ottawa 2-6-2.

Season series: This is the only meeting of the season between these cross conference clubs. Captain Daniel Alfredsson helped the Sens to victory with the shootout winner in the clubs' only meeting last season on Dec. 6, 2009 at Anaheim. Although these teams typically play just once per season, the last time the Ducks were defeated in Ottawa was back when they had the mask of mascot Wildwing on their jerseys during the 2002-03 season.

Big story: This game pits two teams who have struggled recently. While the Ducks won seven of their last nine games overall, they have actually dropped three of their last four road games by a combined score of 15-5. As far as the Sens go, they have been plagued by injuries all season long and are currently in the midst of their lowest point of the season, having lost eight of their last nine games including a six-game losing streak over that span.

Team Scope:

Ducks: It's no doubt that the Honda Center ice has been very good to the Ducks. At home this season, Anaheim leads the NHL in wins with its 10-3-0 record. The strong home play continued on Sunday as the usual combination of veterans and youngsters came through once again. Future Hall-of-Famer Teemu Selanne notched his 1,300th NHL point on the second of his two goals on the night, while 20-year old defenseman Luca Sbisa started the scoring that led the Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Edmonton Oilers.

While the bright side of Sunday's game would be that Anaheim jumped to a 3-0 lead by the second period, the gloomier side would say that the final score meant they blew that lead. This was a fact that did not sit well with Selanne.

"We thought this was going to be easy, but there are no easy games in this League," said Selanne. "If you can’t play 60 minutes of solid hockey, you are going to be having some problems. And it showed again tonight."

Senators: Taking a 1-0 lead into the third period at Washington Sunday was not nearly enough to keep the Senators in the game. A three-goal third period by the Capitals was all they needed to defeat the visiting Sens, 3-1. Ottawa has now played the second most games in the Eastern Conference, but its 40 points through 46 games has them in 13th place in the playoff standings with quite a steep hill to climb the rest of the way.

"So many of our losses, we have played well but we still aren't scoring on our chances," head coach Cory Clouston told reporters after the game. "We don't make teams pay for their mistakes. (The Capitals) made plenty of mistakes but we just didn't make them pay."

Who's hot: Forward Jason Blake has a three-game points streak for the Ducks, tallying a goal and three assists over that span. Mike Fisher scored the Sens' lone goal on Sunday and now has a goal and an assist over his last three games.

Injury report:  The Ducks are still without captain Ryan Getzlaf (facial fractures) and forward Aaron Voros (broken orbital bone)...Ottawa goalie Parcal Leclaire (lower body) and forward Jason Spezza (shoulder) are still sidelined, while forward Alex Kovalev is out with a knee injury.

Stat pack: The Ducks have been near perfect on the penalty kill over their last nine games, thwarting 29 of 30 opposing power-play opportunities.

Puck drop: If the Ducks were looking for a scouting report on Tuesday's opposition, all they needed to do was tune in to Coach Clouston's post-game press conference after Sunday's loss at Washington.

"Night in and night out, we just don't make teams pay for their mistakes. And it just allows all of them to hang on and hang in there. That's what has happened the last bunch of games," said Clouston.
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