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Los Angeles, CA - Through the first few weeks of the season, the Anaheim Ducks struggled to find the win column and forwards Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne had trouble cracking the scoresheet.
It's probably not a coincidence the team is surging with the trio establishing itself offensively.
The Ducks and their scoring leaders look to keep their momentum going on Tuesday against the Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Anaheim -158 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on Anaheim -158 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
Anaheim (7-5-1) started the season with four straight losses and five in its first six games.
During that stretch, Getzlaf and Perry - who paced the Ducks with 82 and 54 points, respectively, last season - were held to one assist apiece. Selanne, meanwhile, managed just one goal in his first seven games after totaling 12 goals and 23 points in 26 regular-season contests in 2007-08.
However, Anaheim has since gone 6-0-1. Getzlaf, Perry and Selanne have combined for 14 goals and 38 points in those seven games.
The group collectively earned the NHL's first star of the week, marking the first time any combination of teammates has received the honor since the award's inception in 1981-82, according to the Ducks' official Web site.
"When you have the amount of skill that they have, those things will eventually turn the tide in their direction," coach Randy Carlyle said. "As long as they continue to work hard to get inside and control that puck, they can be an effective group."
Getzlaf had a goal and an assist, while Perry and Selanne each added an assist in a 3-2 victory over visiting Calgary on Sunday, helping Anaheim bounce back from Friday's exhausting 13-round shootout loss to Vancouver.
"We worked through it well as a group and rebounded tremendously," said Getzlaf, who is second on the Ducks with 10 assists and 14 points. "That's the big thing we are doing now, everyone is working and everyone is contributing. We're a confident team right now, and we're playing like it."
The trio hopes to carry that confidence into Tuesday's game versus local rival Los Angeles (3-6-1). Getzlaf has five goals and three assists in his last six games against the Kings, while Perry has four goals and three assists in his last eight games versus them.
Selanne has fared even better, 43 goals and 97 points - his most against any opponent - in 78 career matchups against Los Angeles, including a goal in the Ducks' 6-3 loss at Staples Center on Oct. 14.
Since that game against Anaheim, Los Angeles has lost four straight games and five of seven. A 3-2 defeat to Calgary on Saturday dropped the Kings to 0-2-1 on their season-high seven-game homestand.
Rookie Oscar Moller scored twice while Alexander Frolov and Kyle Quincey each had two assists for the Kings, who are trying to avoid their first five-game slide since going 0-3-2 from Feb. 23-March 4.
"It was one of those games I felt like we should have won," said Kings captain Dustin Brown, whose team failed to capitalize on a 36-21 shooting advantage.
Los Angeles has lost 14 of 21 games to Anaheim since Jan. 28, 2006 - a span in which Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere is 11-4-2 with a 2.87 GAA in 17 games. Giguere made 34 saves on Sunday, improving to 5-0-0 with a 3.17 GAA in his last six starts.
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Posted: 11/04/08 12:49 AM