The Anaheim Ducks took care of some important business during a five-day break.
The club signed first-year sensation Viktor Fasth to a two-year extension, and the goalie may get a chance to improve to 9-0-0 on Sunday night at home against the Colorado Avalanche.
Anaheim (12-2-1) is in search of its first six-game win streak since Nov. 3-12, 2010. Coach Bruce Boudreau gave the club two days off during this five-day break that precedes a set of back-to-back games.
The Ducks wasted no time Wednesday in signing Fasth to a two-year, $5.8 million contract extension after the Swedish goalie posted a 1.78 goals-against average over his first nine stellar appearances with the club. The 30-year-old Fasth has won his first eight starts, joining Ray Emery and Bob Froese as the only NHL goalies to win their first eight decisions.
"You always try to do your best and play your best, try to help the team as much as you can,'' Fasth said. "That's what I've been trying to focus on, and that's what I have to keep doing, to do my part."
It's unclear how Boudreau will approach these games, with a short trip down the freeway Monday night to face the Stanley Cup champion Kings looming. Jonas Hiller made 25 saves in the Ducks' last game, a 4-2 home win over Columbus on Monday.
"Jonas played against Columbus and played incredibly good,'' Fasth said. "I just try to work hard, and I'll play when the coach tells me to play. That's how things work."
Fasth could be a good choice Sunday since he made 31 saves for his lone shutout in a 3-0 road victory over the Avalanche (7-8-1) on Feb. 6 in the first meeting between these clubs. Hiller is 2-3-1 with a 3.17 GAA in his last six starts versus Colorado.
The team-oriented Ducks do not have a player in the top 25 in the league in points, but have nine with at least eight. Anaheim has scored 17 goals during its five-game home win streak.
Defenseman Cam Fowler returned to practice this week, although it's unclear if he will play after missing eight games with an upper-body injury.
"He's physically able to go," Boudreau said. "I don't know if he's going to go, but he's got clearance to play."
The Ducks will get their first look this season at Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who returned in Saturday's 4-1 loss at Los Angeles after missing the last 11 games with a concussion. Landeskog had six points in four games against Anaheim last season.
"He's kind of a bull on the ice," Ducks winger Daniel Winnik said. "He definitely doesn't have the build of 19- or 20-year olds. He just works really hard. He goes to the net and that's where he gets rewarded for most of his goals."
Avs coach Joe Sacco indicated before this three-game trip that former Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere will likely be Sunday's starter after going with Semyon Varlamov against the Kings. Giguere is 2-1-0 with a 2.35 GAA in three starts against the Ducks since they traded him to Toronto in 2010.