Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Hockey

Red-hot Ducks visit Avalanche

The Anaheim Ducks and Colorado Avalanche may be sitting just outside of the postseason picture, but both have to be happy with their play as of late.

Owners of the best record in hockey since the start of the new year, the Ducks try to continue their surge up the standings this evening and deny the Avs a share of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Anaheim has put together a 17-4-4 record since Jan. 1, reducing its deficit for the eighth spot from 17 points to just six in that span. Overall, the Ducks are 8-1-3 in their last 12 games.

Colorado has also been playing solid hockey as of late, putting together three straight wins for the first time since claiming four contests in a row from Dec. 29-Jan. 6. The Avalanche are tied for ninth in the West with 68 points, two back of the idle Stars for eighth.

If Colorado wants to move into a tie with Dallas, it will need to find a way to beat Anaheim at home. The Ducks have won six straight in Denver since their last loss there on March 6, 2008 and have won seven of eight and 16 of the past 19 encounters overall in this series.

These clubs have split a pair of meetings in Anaheim already this season.

The Ducks returned home on Sunday for the first time since Feb. 8 and picked up a 3-1 victory over the Blackhawks. Teemu Selanne led the way with a goal and an assist, while Andrew Cogliano and Sheldon Brookbank also tallied.

Anaheim had just wrapped a 5-1-2 road trip with a shootout win at Carolina on Thursday and avoided a letdown in a return home.

"We all knew how important this game was going to be," Selanne said. "Fifteen days on the road, it's never easy to come back. The tank was pretty empty. We had one day off and one practice. I was very happy with how we played, especially the last two periods, we were really solid. That is a good feeling. We'll just keep battling."

Jonas Hiller made 18 saves in his 21st straight start and has allowed two goals or fewer in 18 of his past 22 decisions for the Ducks.

Colorado is also coming off a big victory over the weekend, having handed powerful Detroit its second straight loss on home ice with a 4-3 decision on Saturday. Rookie Gabriel Landeskog netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season, while the recently-acquired Steve Downie logged a goal and two assists.

Ryan O'Reilly, the centerman between Landeskog and Downie, picked up three helpers.

"I'm having a lot of fun playing hockey right now," Landeskog said. "I think our whole team is and we're trying to get on a roll."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves for Colorado, which is 6-2-1 in its last nine. The club played without captain Milan Hejduk due to a groin injury.