(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will shoot for a sixth straight
victory when they host the Phoenix Coyotes in Friday's Pacific Division battle
at the Honda Center.
Anaheim's only loss of the 2013-14 season came in its opening contest, but the
Ducks have rattled off five consecutive victories since getting routed by the
Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Oct. 2.
With another victory on Friday, the 5-1-0 Ducks would match their longest
winning streak from last season. Anaheim also had a six-game winning streak
from Feb. 9-24 of last season.
Anaheim's latest victory came Wednesday evening against the visiting Calgary
Flames, who were dealt their first regulation setback of the season in the 3-2
loss. Teemu Selanne scored what proved to be the game-winner late in the
second period to help the Ducks earn the home win.
Kyle Palmieri and Dustin Penner potted a goal apiece for the Ducks, who have
won 17 straight regular-season home games against the Flames. Viktor Fasth
stood tall between the pipes for Anaheim, turning away 33-of-35 shots in the
Selanne's first goal of the season staked Anaheim to a 3-1 lead late in the
second following a Calgary turnover in the neutral zone. The Finnish veteran
actually broke his stick shortly before the goal, but received a new one from
the bench seconds before Jakob Silfverberg found him streaking down the middle
of the ice for a breakaway.
Silfverberg won a race to the loose puck near the Flames' blue line and tipped
the disc ahead to spring Selanne, who finished with a quick wrister from
between the circles for the 676th goal of his storied NHL career.
"I broke two sticks for the first time in my career," the 43-year-old Selanne
said after the game "I got the breakaway. Sometimes, you've got to be lucky."
Anaheim is 3-0 on a five-game homestand that is set to end Sunday against the
Phoenix hopes it can continue to have success against the Ducks on Friday
after taking four of the last five meetings between the clubs. The Coyotes
halted a three-game road losing streak against Anaheim the last time the
clubs met on April 27 of last season.
Coyotes winger Radim Vrbata recorded three goals in last April's win over the
Ducks and the hat trick gives him 12 goals and 30 points in 39 career games
against the Ducks. Fasth surrendered four goals on 30 shots in the loss and is
0-1-1 with a 3.89 goals against average in two career tilts against Phoenix.
Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller is 15-6-3 with a 2.54 GAA in 25 career outings
against the Coyotes and could get the call tonight.
The Coyotes had won three in a row before dropping an overtime decision
Tuesday against the visiting Ottawa Senators. Cory Conacher scored 2:48 into
OT, beating Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith with a one-timer to lift the
Senators to victory at Jobing.com Arena.
Phoenix held a 2-0 lead over the Sens before allowing three unanswered goals
from Ottawa's Jason Spezza. However, Coyotes forward Mike Ribeiro was credited
with a power-play goal with 3:30 remaining in regulation to force overtime.
"We made a couple critical mistakes that hurt us. We'll take the point and
move on," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.
Smith stopped 28 shots for the Coyotes, but fell to 3-2-1 on the season. He is
8-3-1 with a 2.74 GAA in his career against Phoenix and is expected to get the
start on Friday.
Phoenix defensemen Rostislav Klesla and Derek Morris are questionable for this
evening's game. Klesla sustained an upper-body injury after absorbing a big
hit from Ottawa's Bobby Ryan on Tuesday, while Morris sat out the game against
the Sens with a lower-body issue.
The Sports Network