After a rough trip, the Anaheim Ducks should be eager to return home.
Looking to continue the best home start in franchise history, the Ducks try to avoid a fifth consecutive loss Wednesday night when they face the surging New Jersey Devils.
Prior to leaving for a four-game trip, Anaheim (15-6-2) recorded a fifth consecutive victory and ran its point streak to nine games by improving to a club-best 8-0-0 mark at home with a 3-1 victory over Vancouver on Nov. 10. Since then, the Ducks have been outscored 14-6 while going 0-3-1 at Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Pittsburgh.
"When you don't have four lines contributing scoring it's tough to win," coach Bruce Boudreau said after Monday's 3-1 loss to the Penguins. "I don't care how good the guys are, it's tough to win."
Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner, three of the team's top four scorers, recorded the Ducks' three goals over the past two games. The Ducks also are 1 for 12 on the power play in five games after going 4 for 6 in the previous two.
Anaheim recorded at least 25 shots in each game of the trip, and outshot the Penguins 28-27, but didn't score until the third period.
"It wasn't like we had a million scoring chances," said Getzlaf, who scored Monday in his second game after missing three straight with an upper-body injury. "We got pucks to net, we felt like we played pretty well. We just need to find a way to maintain that throughout the game."
The Ducks should be happy to return home where they've outscored opponents 36-13. Anaheim remains the league's only undefeated team at home, and is three consecutive wins shy of Chicago's NHL record of 11 straight to open the 1963-64 season.
Getzlaf has five goals and five assists in his last three home contests.
Andrew Cogliano went without a point in the last three of the trip but has scored half of his six goals in the last three at home.
Though the Ducks haven't faced New Jersey (7-8-5) since February 2012, they've dropped three straight in the series.
The Devils open a three-game California trip having won three of four and are in the midst of a 4-1-1 stretch.
Two nights before Anaheim lost to Pittsburgh, the Devils broke a second-period tie with three unanswered goals to beat the Penguins 4-1 on Saturday. Jaromir Jagr scored twice against his former team and Martin Brodeur made 27 saves.
"It's big for us," Brodeur said. "We're looking to get back to .500 and from there, let's go forward. We're not there yet."
The Devils continue to rely on their two 41-year old stars.
Jagr has a team-leading 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) while Brodeur has posted a 0.75 goals-against average and recorded two shutouts during a four-game winning streak.
'I don't know what kind of statement we can really make," said Brodeur, who has a 1.15 GAA while winning six of seven. "It's kind of nice. I think it goes a long way when you enjoy the game of hockey. At our age, if we didn't do that, it would be really, really hard to play this game."
Brodeur has a 1.30 GAA during the Devils' three-game winning streak over the Ducks.
Jagr did not have a point in three games against the Ducks last season while with Dallas.
The Associated Press News Service
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