Sports

Devils continue California tour vs. Ducks

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New Jersey Devils began a three-game tour of California with a victory and will try to build off the win Friday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

The Devils beat the defending Stanley Cup champions to kick off the West Coast swing, taking a 5-3 decision Wednesday night in Los Angeles despite playing without leading scorer Jaromir Jagr.

New Jersey used four second-period goals to down the Kings at the Staples Center.

Steve Bernier had two power-play goals and Cory Schneider made 23 saves for the Devils, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

"We had a couple of days off so we had some good jump tonight and that's always helpful," Schneider said.

Mike Cammalleri, Martin Havlat and Michael Ryder also tallied for New Jersey, which is 3-1-1 over its last four games.

The Devils are just 9-14-2 as the road team this season and still 12 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The club will complete this trip Monday in San Jose before returning East for a five-game homestand.

Jagr and fellow forward Tuomo Ruutu were not with the team at the start of this road trip due to illness and both players are expected to be out again tonight. Jagr leads the Devils with 25 points off nine goals and 16 assists.

Defenseman Eric Gelinas could play tonight for New Jersey. He also was out with an illness, but could return to the ice for the first time since Dec. 31 in Detroit. Gelinas could draw into the lineup Friday in place of defenseman Mark Fraser, who is expected to miss tonight with an injured pinky finger.

Schneider is expected to start for the Devils on Friday. He is 4-2-1 with a 2.53 goals against average in nine career games (6 starts) versus the Ducks.

Anaheim, which is tied with Nashville for the most points in the NHL with 62, is off to a 4-1-0 start to January and enter Friday's clash on a two-game winning streak.

The Pacific Division leaders also played their most recent game on Wednesday when they cruised past visiting Toronto, 4-0.

Frederik Andersen stopped all 28 shots he faced to post his second shutout of the season, while Corey Perry contributed his third hat trick of the campaign for the Ducks.

"Just trying to get back in the swing of things," Perry said. "Tonight I feel like I was a lot better than I have been."

Perry is leading the Ducks with 18 goals despite missing 15 games this season due to illness and injury.

Kyle Palmieri also lit the lamp and Ryan Getzlaf added a pair of assists for the Ducks, who are 5-2-0 on an eight-game homestand that ends tonight.

Anaheim is 16-5-3 as the host this season.

The Ducks had lost four straight in the series with the Devils before posting a 3-2 overtime win in New Jersey on Dec. 20 of last season. Anaheim hopes to halt a two-game slide on home ice against the Devils tonight.