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Ducks host Blues in Orange County showdown
(Sports Network) - After posting consecutive shutout wins, the stingy Anaheim Ducks will try for a third straight victory when they host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
The Pacific Division-leading Ducks are 17-3-3 this season and the club has managed to dominate with both offense and defense so far in 2013. Anaheim is ranked third in the NHL with 3.35 goals scored per game and is ninth in the league in goals against with an average of 2.48 scores surrendered each night.
Anaheim showed off its defense over the last two games, as Jonas Hiller needed to stop only 18 shots in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Phoenix and rookie netminder Viktor Fasth recorded 29 saves to notch his second career shutout in Friday's 4-0 victory against Calgary. The recent wins came at the start of a three-game homestand, giving the Ducks 10 straight wins in Anaheim since losing their home opener 5-0 to Vancouver on Jan. 25.
Fasth improved his season and career record to 10-1-1 in Friday's win over the Flames. Hiller also has a solid 7-2-2 mark and is expected to be the starter on Sunday.
Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan each registered a goal and an assist against the Flames while Daniel Winnik and Sheldon Souray scored a goal apiece for the Ducks. Ryan has recorded a point in six straight games and has two goals and five helpers during the run.
"Once we scored the second goal, we started to get our legs and started to do the right things," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think they were frustrated. A win is a win."
Ducks center Kyle Palmieri missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury and is questionable for Sunday.
The Blues also are coming off consecutive wins and pulled off a comeback victory Saturday in San Jose. St. Louis trailed 3-1 heading into the third period, but eventually claimed the 4-3 decision in overtime.
Patrik Berglund scored the game-winner at 1:12 of the extra session. He fought off San Jose defenseman Dan Boyle at the left side of the cage and reached over his opponent to redirect a Barret Jackman shot home to end the contest.
Vladimir Sobotka posted his first career hat trick to account for the remainder of the goals for the Blues, who improved to 2-2-0 on their current five-game road trip which concludes on Sunday. Overall, St. Louis is 8-4-1 as the visiting team this season.
Two of Sobotka's goals came just 1:20 apart in the third period and those scores tied the game at 3-3. He tallied at the 4:18 mark of the third and added his seventh goal of the season at 5:38.
Jake Allen made 22 saves for the win and is now 5-1-0 on the season. With the Blues goaltending duo of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott struggling, Allen was recalled from the minors after Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Kings and has started the last two games. However, Allen is expected to make way for Halak to start Sunday's tilt in Orange County.
The Ducks posted a 6-5 shootout win in St. Louis on Feb. 9 in the first meeting between the teams this season. Anaheim has won two straight and four of six in this series overall and the Blues have dropped five in a row and nine of 10 at the Honda Center.
03/10 11:34:26 ET
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