Ducks-Coyotes Preview

The Associated Press

With Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry leading the way, the NHL-best Anaheim Ducks have been nearly unbeatable for more than a month.

That shouldn't come as much of a surprise to the slumping Phoenix Coyotes.

Seeking a sixth consecutive win, the visiting Ducks go for a five-game season sweep of the Coyotes on Saturday night.

Getzlaf notched two goals and an assist and Frederik Andersen made 23 saves in Thursday's 4-3 win at Nashville. Perry also scored - his third in as many games - as the Ducks erased an early 2-0 deficit behind a four-goal second period.

Anaheim (33-8-5) improved to 15-1-0 since Dec. 6, winning its last five by a combined 24-13 score.

"I haven't heard one time that somebody's going to repeat what kind of record we have," forward Teemu Selanne, who snapped an eight-game goalless drought Thursday, told the NHL's official website. "It's not a surprise for us. Obviously, it's a good record. There's nobody satisfied about this. It's almost like feeling (we're) still waiting for playoff time. ... This is the year to take the next step."

Much of the Ducks' success is due in large part to Getzlaf and Perry. Getzlaf is fourth in the league with 52 points, and Perry isn't far behind at 47.

"I've only been around 2 1/2 years but it's the best I've seen from anyone that I've been associated with as far as leadership," coach Bruce Boudreau said of Getzlaf. "It seems like when we're down and we're not playing well, he takes it upon himself to do what he does until the other guys catch up. Corey does it too. The both of them are pretty magical out there as far as tough to play against."

Anaheim's goaltending has also been outstanding. Jonas Hiller has posted a 2.05 goals-against average in winning a team-record 12 consecutive starts, and Andersen is 10-2-0 with a 2.07 GAA.

Hiller could be back in goal against a Coyotes team he's dominated of late. He is 8-0-1 with a 1.74 GAA and one shutout during a nine-game stretch in the series, allowing two goals in each of this season's four wins.

Getzlaf has three goals and seven assists over his last seven games versus Phoenix. The Ducks are 25-2-4 when he records at least one point this season.

The Coyotes (21-13-9), who have lost eight of 11 at home, are in the midst of a 3-5-4 stretch after falling 4-1 to Minnesota on Thursday. Phoenix outshot the Wild 40-29, but Mike Smith stopped just 25 shots in his first start after being selected to Canada's Olympic team.

"We had opportunities to score and didn't score," said captain Shane Doan, who had an assist. "Give them credit that they found ways to score when they got theirs and we didn't. In a game like that, you have to put as much onus on the guys trying to score as the guys who are trying to stop them."

Smith is 3-8-5 during a 17-start stretch, going 0-3-2 with a 3.06 GAA in his last five. He is 3-5-1 with a 3.66 GAA in his last nine against the Ducks.

Mikkel Boedker, who provided the lone goal Thursday, has scored in three straight games and four of five. Boedker has been limited to just four assists in his last 19 matchups versus Anaheim.

Doan, meanwhile, has 18 goals and 25 assists during a 42-game stretch against the Ducks.

Anaheim forward Dustin Penner could miss his third consecutive game with an upper-body injury.

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