(SportsNetwork.com) – The Anaheim Ducks will try to maintain their perfect
December record on Saturday when the red-hot club visits the Winnipeg Jets at
Anaheim is 6-0 this month and recently completed a home-and-home sweep of the
Edmonton Oilers. The Ducks recorded a 2-1 home win over the Oilers on
Wednesday before notching Friday’s 4-2 triumph in Edmonton.
Another victory tonight would match Anaheim’s longest winning streak of the
season. The Ducks won seven straight from Oct. 11-24.
The Ducks, who also have won nine of their last 11 outings, lead the NHL with
45 points, putting them four points ahead of four other teams in the race for
the Presidents’ Trophy. Anaheim also holds a seven-point edge over Vancouver
for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Friday’s victory kicked off a five-game road trip for the Ducks and improved
the club’s away record to 10-3-2. Anaheim led 3-0 at one point in the home-
and-home finale before holding on for the victory.
Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Getzlaf scored in a 44-second span in the opening
minute of the second period to hand the Ducks their 3-0 cushion, but Edmonton
would battle back to make it a one-goal game. The Oilers received a goal late
in the second from Tyler Pitlick before Jeff Petry’s power-play tally made it
a 3-2 contest at 12:40 of the third.
Nate Thompson would eventually seal the win for the Ducks with his empty-net
tally with 16.9 seconds remaining.
Sami Vatanen also scored for the Ducks and Frederik Andersen picked up a 21-
“We let them back into the game. We battled hard those last eight minutes and
gutted out a win,” said Ducks forward Ryan Kesler.
The Ducks have lost six of their last eight games against the Jets, including
a 4-3 overtime setback Sunday in Winnipeg. Anaheim has lost four of its last
six road games in this series dating back to when the Jets were still known as
the Atlanta Thrashers.
Evander Kane is due back for the Jets tonight after the forward served a two-
game suspension for boarding Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner in Sunday’s contest.
Although the Jets lost their last time out they still enter tonight’s battle
on an eight-game point streak. Winnipeg is 5-0-3 during the stretch and hasn’t
lost in regulation since a 4-2 home setback against St. Louis on Nov. 23.
The Jets dropped a 4-3 shootout decision in Colorado Avalanche on Thursday
despite holding a two-goal lead early in the third period. Winnipeg went ahead
3-1 on Mark Scheifele’s goal 4:32 into the third, but Jarome Iginla and Ryan
O’Reilly tallied late in the period to send the game to an extra session.
After a scoreless overtime, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene scored on
Colorado’s first two chances in the shootout. Calvin Pickard then stopped both
Winnipeg attempts to seal the win for the Avs. Colorado’s netminder also made
two huge stops in overtime to send the game to the tie-breaker.
Scheifele added two assists and Ondrej Pavelec made 23 saves for Winnipeg.
“I thought their goalie was really good,” Jets head coach Paul Maurice said.
“We seem to get to overtime with this team an awful lot.”
Tonight’s tilt begins a four-game homestand for the Jets, who are 6-5-2 at MTS
Centre this season.