NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, January 9th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (32-8-5) at Nashville Predators (19-19-6), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The sizzling Anaheim Ducks will try to become the first team to reach 70 points this season, as they visit the Nashville Predators in Thursday's battle at Bridgestone Arena.
With 69 points, the Ducks are leading the NHL and are two points ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks for that distinction. Bruce Boudreau's club also holds a nine-point advantage over the San Jose Sharks atop the Pacific Division. The Sharks are in action Thursday against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.
Anaheim has been on an epic tear of late, winning 14 of its last 15 games. The Ducks recorded a fourth straight win in their most recent outing, as they slammed the visiting Boston Bruins by a 5-2 score on Tuesday.
Mathieu Perreault scored twice to lead the red-hot Anaheim Ducks in a 5-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
Corey Perry and Nick Bonino each had a goal and an assist, while Andrew Cogliano supplied the other goal for the Ducks. Jonas Hiller stopped 30 shots to record his 12th straight win between the pipes.
"I think he's 12-0 or something during this and that's incredible when you think of the consistency he's showing," said Boudreau about Hiller. "You know, usually you have a clunker now and then, but he just keeps going."
Hiller, who has already set a club record with his personal winning streak, expects to get the call again on Thursday. He is just 3-8-0 with a 2.79 goals against average in 12 career games against Nashville.
Tuesday's win pushed Anaheim's home record this season to 18-0-2. The Ducks are only the fifth team since the 1973-74 season to record a point in each of their first 20 home games of a season. The last to do so was the San Jose Sharks, who went 20-0-2 over their first 22 home games of the 2008-09 campaign.
Anaheim is 14-8-3 as the road team this season and had won six straight as the guest before falling in San Jose on Dec. 29. The Ducks are beginning a two- game trip tonight and will complete the brief swing Saturday at Phoenix.
Nashville, meanwhile, hopes to stay on the right track after halting a three- game slide with Tuesday's win over the visiting Sharks. David Legwand posted a goal and an assist and Marek Mazanec made 26 saves to help the Predators begin a five-game homestand with a 3-2 win. It was just the third victory for Nashville in its last 11 games.
Mattias Ekholm and Roman Josi both scored for the Predators, who improved to 11-8-3 as the host this season.
"I thought we had a good game plan going in and we stayed with it," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz. "We were able to convert on some chances and keep them from getting too much going."
Predators forward Patric Hornqvist suffered a lower-body injury in Tuesday's loss and is questionable for tonight's tilt. Hornqvist is fourth on Nashville with 24 points on nine goals and 15 assists.
Thursday's tilt is the first of three scheduled meetings between the Preds and Ducks this season. Anaheim has taken three in a row in the series overall, but Nashville has five wins in the last seven encounters in Music City.
01/09 11:01:46 ET