The Anaheim Ducks are hoping that a holiday break hasn't slowed down any momentum they have built in putting together the longest win streak in franchise history.
The Ducks will stretch that run to 10 wins in a row Saturday night at home if they can improve to 4-0-0 against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Anaheim (27-7-5) will be back on the ice for the first time since Monday's 3-2 win at Washington capped a four-game trip and gave the Ducks the NHL's longest win streak since Pittsburgh won all 15 games in March.
Coach Bruce Boudreau gave his club three days away from the rink before it returned to practice Friday.
"Those days off were needed, and I think the guys enjoyed them, but now we're back at it," center Mathieu Perreault told the Ducks' official website. "We have a good thing going here. We've won nine in a row and we want to come back on the ice."
Perreault is one of four Ducks with three points in the season series, with Nick Bonino recording a team-best four. Jonas Hiller has posted a 1.95 goals-against average while starting the first three meetings, and he's 7-0-1 with a 1.72 GAA in his last eight starts versus the Coyotes.
"You have to be prepared because they're four lines deep," said Boudreau about Phoenix. "They can put four really good lines out, and they have the most active defense this side of Chicago. You're always worried about their depth. If Mike Smith is playing at the top of his game, he's a tough one to beat. I always think they're really tough."
Smith owns a 3.64 GAA in three starts against Anaheim this season, and is 1-3-2 with a 3.94 GAA in six career starts at the Honda Center.
It's unclear if he will be back in goal after he made 29 saves in Friday's 4-3 shootout home loss to San Jose.
"Quick turnaround, 5 o'clock tomorrow so the schedule makers didn't do us much favors there but look at the bright side, we just had three days' rest so we'll be ready to go," coach Dave Tippett said.
Phoenix (19-10-8) continues to play without Shane Doan and that figures to be a problem Saturday. The Coyotes captain has an illness and won't be able to add to his team-best four points in the season series.
Tippett was pleased with his team's effort Friday against the high-scoring Sharks. David Moss scored twice and Radim Vrbata added a tying goal with 6:25 left in regulation.
''Tonight, I thought that game was a toss-up," Tippett said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get the extra point, but we put the work in to get the two points.''
Mike Ribeiro had two assists to end a five-game pointless streak.
Anaheim is the only team without a regulation home loss with a 13-0-2 mark. Ryan Getzlaf has been a big part of that with 18 points in a 10-game run at the Honda Center.
Getzlaf has a team-high 12 points during this win streak while Corey Perry has a team-best six goals and 10 points.
The Ducks also feature a defensive tandem of Hampus Lindholm and Francois Beauchemin that deserves mention. Lindholm is an NHL-best plus-22 with Beauchemin at plus-21.
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