Paced by some remarkable home success and the longest-active points streak in the league, the Anaheim Ducks continue to close in on the top spot in the NHL.
After rallying to knock off the team atop the league standings, the surging Ducks look to extend their franchise-record home winning streak to 14 games Friday night in the first of two in three days against the Detroit Red Wings.
Anaheim (22-3-4) overcame a one-goal deficit with three in the third period for a 4-2 home win over Chicago on Wednesday. Battling the flu, Ryan Getzlaf set up Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne late in the game for the tying and go-ahead goals 64 seconds apart to help Anaheim improve to 9-0-3 since a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles on Feb. 25.
The Ducks, who have outscored their opponents 49-23 at home since a 5-0 opening loss on Jan. 25 to Vancouver, are three points behind the NHL-leading Blackhawks.
"(The Blackhawks have) made a statement to run away with it so far, and we've quietly just gone about our business," said Ryan, who has three goals and five assists during a seven-game home points streak. "To be three points back with a game in hand is huge.
"It's been a fun ride to be a part of, and I hope it continues.'
Anaheim's 14 comeback victories are the most in the league through the first 29 games since 1987-88.
"We don't expect to come back, but we always think we can,' coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We've got great leadership. Everybody knows their role."
The Ducks went 3-0-1 without star forward Corey Perry, who returns Friday after serving a four-game suspension for an illegal hit at Minnesota on March 12.
Getzlaf, meanwhile, has seven goals with 15 assists during a 12-game home points streak.
"He's playing an MVP season right now, and it's fun to watch,' said the 42-year-old Selanne, who snapped a nine-game goal drought.
Getzlaf had two assists, Perry had a goal with an assist and Ryan also scored in Anaheim's 5-2 win at Detroit on Feb. 15. The Ducks have won two straight against the Red Wings (14-11-5) following a stretch of six losses in seven series games.
Detroit, which plays at Anaheim again Sunday, opens a four-game western trip looking for a third straight road victory. The Red Wings went 0 for 36 on the power play in the first 10 road games but have one such goal in three straight away from home.
The Red Wings, however, look to bounce back from a 4-2 home loss to Minnesota on Wednesday. Detroit managed little on 38 shots while Jimmy Howard struggled against 19. The Wild also converted two of three power-play chances after the Red Wings killed 21 of 23 penalties in the previous seven contests.
"The bottom line is we've got to be better," coach Mike Babcock said. "(Wednesday) was a disappointing night for us because we're getting ready to go on the road."
Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk was held without a point Wednesday, but has one goal and four assists in three road games. He has two goals and four assists in his last five at Anaheim.
The Ducks' Jonas Hiller has a 2.12 goals-against average during a seven-game home winning streak. He snapped a five-game skid to Detroit with 23 saves in a 4-0 home win March 14, 2012.
Rookie Viktor Fasth, 6-0-0 with a 1.32 GAA at home, made 26 saves at Detroit last month.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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