Preview: Blackhawks at Ducks
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[February 05, 2014]
The Anaheim Ducks were a lock on
their home ice for much of the season but they have dropped four of
their last six at Honda Center and are bracing for a visit from the
Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. Anaheim went more than three
months before losing in regulation at home, compiling a stunning 20-0-2
mark, but have lost two in a row and three of four on its five-game
homestand. The Ducks scored only 13 goals in the last six at Honda
Center and were held to two tallies or fewer five times.
Chicago had won only once in six games (1-2-3) before knocking
off Los Angeles 5-3 on Monday in the fourth stop of a seven-game
road trip. The Blackhawks, who trail Anaheim by three points for the
league's best record, snapped the Ducks' eight-game winning streak
with a 4-2 home win on Jan. 17. "It's never good to see Chicago
because they're a great team, but it's probably great that Chicago's
coming in," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That's maybe what we
need, because if we don't play up to our best level against a team
like that, then we're going to get our butts kicked."
TV: 10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FSN West (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (34-10-14): Patrick Kane learned of the passing
of his grandfather minutes before Monday's game and responded by
scoring two goals and adding an assist to spark Chicago's victory.
It marked the first time since Dec. 14 that Kane registered multiple
tallies and matched his goal output from the previous 16 games
combined, putting him within three of equaling his career high of 30
set in 2009-10. He's a proud guy and his grandfather meant a lot to
him. It was probably a very emotional night for him, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. He played an
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ABOUT THE DUCKS (40-13-5): Anaheim has lost back-to-back games for
the first time since Nov. 30-Dec. 3 and captain Ryan Getzlaf
suggested that the upcoming Olympic break is one of the reasons for
the tailspin. We 're not focusing on hockey. That 's the only
explanation I can think of, because we 're not focused or playing
the way we can and doing the things we do well," Getzlaf said. "We
talked about the fact that all we've really done is have a good
start. If we don 't play well the second half, all that goes away.
Boudreau dismissed Getzlaf's theory, saying: "Whatever it is, it 's
Getzlaf has 11 goals and 14 assists in his last 20 games.
Blackhawks G Corey Crawford is 6-4-1 with a 2.20 goals-against
average versus the Ducks.
Anaheim had won 18 of 19 prior to the loss at Chicago, which
started its current 4-5-0 stretch.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Ducks 3
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