It’s been a long time since the Anaheim Ducks played this well away from home.
In a season already marked by outstanding play, the Ducks will try to break the franchise record for consecutive road wins when they continue a five-game road trip with a visit to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.
Anaheim, which started the season 12-0-4, has won five in a row on the road to tie the team mark set from Nov. 26-Dec. 26, 1999. The Ducks, who have won eight of their last nine overall, beat Washington 6-1 on Friday and Tampa Bay 4-3 on Saturday to begin this trip.
“We feel that our team can play in any building we want to go into because we’re a skating hockey club and we have some size,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after Saturday’s victory. “We have to establish our forechecking for periods of the game. Tonight we did that.”
The Ducks (23-3-6) haven’t typically had much success away from Anaheim. Before this season, Anaheim had won four straight road games only three times in franchise history. But in 2006-07, the Ducks are 10-1-2 away from home.
“It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective,” Penner said. “You’re not going to play your best game every night, especially on back-to-back games when you’re traveling. You just have to find a way to win.”
The Ducks have an NHL-high 23 wins and 52 points and are enjoying a banner season, unlike the team they entered the league with as expansion clubs 13 years ago.
The Panthers (10-16-6) are back home for one game before leaving on a three-game road trip. Florida dropped back-to-back games in New York over the weekend, losing 5-4 in a shootout to the Islanders on Saturday and 2-1 to the Rangers on Sunday.
The Panthers were trying to record points in a season-high four straight games, but the loss to the Rangers doomed that chance.
“We got five points out of a possible eight this week,” Panthers captain Olli Jokinen said, “but it’s not good enough.”
Florida has lost eight of its last 10 and has 26 points, the second-worst total in the Eastern Conference.
“The effort was there,” Florida coach Jacques Martin said Sunday. “It’s just a matter of being able to score goals. We have to capitalize a little more.”
The Panthers have lost six of their past eight at home. Since starting 4-0 at the BankAtlantic Center, they are just 3-7-1 there.
This is the only meeting between Anaheim and Florida this season. The Ducks have won two of the past three games between the teams, who haven’t met in Florida since Dec. 27, 2003, a 3-2 win by the Panthers.