NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, January 11th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Devils (24-14-3) at Anaheim Ducks (21-17-5), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of former Stanley Cup foes will meet tonight in Anaheim, as the Ducks welcome the New Jersey Devils for an interconference battle at the Honda Center.
These teams are meeting for the only time this season and for just the fourth time since the Devils downed Anaheim in seven games for the 2003 Stanley Cup title. Anaheim is 2-0 with a tie in the last three meetings overall and Jersey hasn't won a regular-season test at the Honda Center since January 24, 2003.
However, the Ducks come into tonight having lost two straight and four of their last six contests. Anaheim's last two losses have each come by a 4-3 score in regulation.
After losing Thursday's game in Los Angeles to split a home-and-home series with the Kings, the Ducks dropped a home test the following night against Tampa Bay. Ryan Malone scored twice, including the winning tally midway through the third period, as Tampa Bay edged Anaheim, 4-3, at Honda Center.
Jonas Hiller gave up four goals on 19 shots for the Ducks, who have also lost seven of their last 10 contests. Steve Montador, Chris Pronger and Andrew Ebbett had the goals for Anaheim.
Anaheim's No. 1 goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is expected to be back in net for the Ducks tonight. Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP back in 2003 and is 2-1 with a tie in four lifetime regular-season meetings against the Devils.
Tonight marks the middle portion of a three-game homestand for the Ducks, who are 12-9-3 as the host this season and have lost four of their last six in Orange County. Anaheim will wrap up the stand Wednesday against Detroit.
The Devils ended a two-game slide Saturday, as they pounded the Los Angeles Kings, 5-1. It was the second stop on a season-high six-game road trip for Jersey, which has a solid 11-6-2 record as the visiting club this season.
Travis Zajac ended with a goal and two assists to lead the Devils to the rout in Los Angeles.
Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise each had a goal an assist for the Devils. Brian Rolston also scored, while Kevin Weekes made 34 saves in the win.
The Devils also announced Saturday that Brendan Shanahan will return to the NHL for a 22nd season, with the club for whom he began his lengthy career. Although there is no official contract, Shanahan has agreed in principle to skate for New Jersey, and the formal deal will be worked out in the next few days.
Shanahan, who will turn 40 on January 23, was the Devils' second overall pick in the 1987 draft, though he played just four years with NJ. He leads all active NHL players in goals scored with 650, and captured three Stanley Cup titles while with the Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2002.
01/11 10:42:00 ET