The last time the Minnesota Wild visited Anaheim, they watched the Mighty Ducks walk away with the Clarence S. Campbell Trophy as the champions of the Western Conference.
If the 2003-04 season ended today, neither club would even make the playoffs.
The Wild try to end their franchise-record, eight-game road winless streak, while the Ducks look to halt their seven-game home winless skid when the teams meet for the second time this season.
The Ducks swept the Wild in the conference finals last season, capping the series with a 2-1 victory in Anaheim on May 16.
But this season has been tough on both teams.
Anaheim is in last place in the Pacific Division, while Minnesota and the Edmonton Oilers have been battling to stay out of the cellar in the Northwest.
Anaheim, which went on to lose in seven games to the New Jersey Devils in last season’s Stanley Cup finals, fell to 0-3-4 in its last seven at the Arrowhead Pond with a 2-2 tie against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
The Ducks, who haven’t won at home since beating the Colorado Avalanche 1-0 on Dec. 19, haven’t gone winless in eight straight on home ice since an 0-8-3 slide from Jan. 5-Feb. 14, 2001.
Anaheim is 1-6-4 in its last 11 games, has scored two goals or fewer in 17 of 19 games, and is 0-for-26 on the power play over eight games.
“It’s going to be tough, but we’re staying positive,” Anaheim captain Steve Rucchin said about the Ducks getting back to the playoffs. “We’re playing a lot better hockey now, and I think it’s just a matter of time before we start running off some wins.
“Things have to start going our way eventually. We just need to stick with it.”
Minnesota beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 at home Wednesday to earn at least a point for the fifth time in six games.
The Wild are beginning a three-game western trip, and will be trying to end an 0-2-6 road skid. Minnesota hasn’t won away from home since a 3-2 victory over Colorado on Dec. 17.
“On the road, we probably are afraid the other team will score four or five or six goals against us,” Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. ”(At home), we seem to relax.”
STANDINGS (through Jan. 21): Wild - 48 points, 4th place, 15 PB, Northwest Division. Mighty Ducks - 41 points, 5th place, 18 PB, Pacific Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Alexandre Daigle and Richard Park, 10 goals; Andrew Brunette, 19 assists and 28 points; Matt Johnson, 106 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Sergei Fedorov, 16 goals and 31 points; four with 15 assists; Todd Simpson, 101 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 21): Wild - Power play: 12.2 percent (24 for 196), 27th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.5 percent (147 for 170), 6th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 14.2 percent (25 for 176), 21st. Penalty killing: 85.3 percent (168 for 197), 12th.
SEASON SERIES: 0-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 30; 1-1 tie. At St. Paul, Minn., Sandis Ozolinsh scored late in the second period to lift Anaheim into the tie. Giguere made 25 saves in his first game in Minnesota since shutting out the Wild three times in the conference finals last season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 7-8-8-0 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 8-7-6-2 at home.