The Anaheim Ducks’ eight-game homestand has allowed them to build a significant lead in the Pacific Division. It has also moved them within one win of a record-setting season.
The Ducks close out both their season-high eight-game homestand and their eight-game season series with the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, as a victory would establish new franchise marks for points and wins.
Anaheim (43-17-12) is 6-0-1 over the first seven games of its homestand, while outscoring opponents 25-13.
The Ducks earned their eighth win in the last 10 games overall on Friday, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. Teemu Selanne scored two of Anaheim’s three first-period goals, and Andy McDonald had two goals and a pair of assists.
Backup goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves in the victory, with which Anaheim tied the club records for wins (43) and points (98) - both set last season.
“It was a great team win,” said left wing Chris Kunitz. “Bryz played great and our power play was obviously clicking tonight. Teemu and Mac were great tonight, and that helps. We had all four lines going. When we flow like that and get good offense early on, we tend to win.”
Selanne has three straight multipoint games, and has 22 points over his last 14 contests. The right wing has four goals and 11 points in seven matchups against the Kings (24-34-14) this season, and 39 goals and 93 points in 39 career games versus Los Angeles. The points are his most against any opponent.
Anaheim is seven points ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have nine games left following Sunday’s contest, although just two will be played on home ice, where they are 25-5-8 compared with 18-12-4 on the road.
Anaheim has dropped its last two home meetings with the Kings, however, including a 4-3 shootout loss on Feb. 18 - also the Kings’ last road win. Four of the seven meetings between these clubs this season have gone to overtime.
Los Angeles defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Saturday - the team’s second win during a three-game homestand. The Kings scored the first four goals of the contest and cruised to victory.
Defensemen Jamie Heward, Lubomir Visnovsky, Mike Weaver and Rob Blake each had a goal - the first time this season the Los Angeles had four defensemen score in a game. Center Jamie Lundmark scored his sixth goal of 2006-07 to complete the Kings’ offense.
“When you can get guys scoring from the point, it’s nice because it takes some pressure off the forwards,” Heward said. “You’re not going to get a lot of those kind of games during the season. But anytime they come, it takes pressure off our top lines and they can just concentrate on playing good solid team hockey.”
The Kings, who with a 9-20-5 road record are tied with Florida and Calgary for fewest road wins in the NHL - play seven of their final 10 games away from home starting with this contest.
Los Angeles has dropped four of its last six games overall, but all the defeats came in either overtime or the shootout.