With their top line rolling, the Anaheim Ducks look to continue their playoff push against an opponent they’ve dominated lately.
Seeking a sixth win in seven games overall, the Ducks try for a season-series sweep and 15th victory in 17 meetings with the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.
Anaheim (42-28-5), winner of 10 of 13, moved into seventh place in the Western Conference after defeating Chicago 2-1 on Saturday night thanks in large part to its first line.
Corey Perry(notes), Ryan Getzlaf(notes) and Bobby Ryan(notes) have combined for 19 goals and 34 assists in those last 13 games and provided both third-period goals Saturday to help the Ducks move one point ahead of the eighth-place Blackhawks.
“We’re playing together and playing as a line, and that’s huge,” said Perry, who notched his NHL-leading 43rd and 44th goals. “Early on in the season we were here, we were there and just missing. Now finally we’ve got that chemistry and we’re rolling with it.”
Getzlaf, who has tallied 11 points over a four-game scoring streak, and Ryan each recorded two assists.
“If you look at the size of the players, the skill set of the players and the compete level of the players that make up that line, we think it’s pretty dynamic,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “And they proved again (Saturday) that they’re quite capable of taking our hockey club and being leaders and leading our team.”
Ray Emery(notes) improved to 4-0-0 and lowered his goals-against average to 1.39 by making 27 saves. Teammate Dan Ellis(notes) is 5-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA lifetime versus the Avalanche while No. 1 goaltender Jonas Hiller(notes) is 6-2-0 with a 2.00 GAA against them.
Hiller allowed three goals on nine shots before getting pulled in Thursday night’s 5-4 loss at Nashville - his first game back since missing 15 with vertigo-like symptoms. His status is unclear.
Anaheim has outscored Colorado 22-8 during a five-game winning streak in the series - a run that includes three matchups this season.
The Ducks, though, likely can’t afford to take this game lightly as their final six contests following Monday all come against playoff contenders.
Perry, who recorded a hat trick in a 3-0 road win over the Avalanche (28-38-8) on Feb. 5, has seven goals and nine assists in his last nine games against Colorado. He has eight and two, respectively, during a five-game overall point streak.
Colorado dropped to 2-12-1 in its last 15 road games with a 4-1 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday and it has scored just 28 goals while allowing twice that many during a 2-11-1 stretch overall.
“I told the guys again that I was very pleased with their effort for the most part,” coach Joe Sacco said. “The guys were ready to play.”
Peter Budaj(notes), who stopped 21 shots, suffered his career-worst sixth consecutive loss and fell to 1-10-1 with a 3.65 GAA in his last 12 starts. He is one victory away from joining Patrick Roy and Dan Bouchard as the only goaltenders in team history with at least 100 regular-season wins.
Budaj, however, is 0-6-2 with a 3.11 GAA in his last eight starts against the Ducks.