Blackhawks vs. Ducks Preview
Anaheim still hasn't gotten back in the win column.
The rematch Friday has the Ducks looking to avoid their worst losing streak in nearly three years by handing the Blackhawks their 10th loss in 12 games at the Honda Center.
Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Blackhawks -110 money line favorites for Friday's game against the Ducks. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 52% of more than 63 bets for this game have been placed on the Ducks +102.
Trends say that Chicago is 5-4 against Anaheim straight up over the past three seasons.
Anaheim had won six straight, one shy of the club record, before a 3-2 overtime loss at Chicago on Nov. 14. That defeat sent the Ducks (10-10-3) into a free-fall to the bottom of the Pacific Division.
A loss to the Blackhawks on Friday would be Anaheim's sixth in a row, which would be its longest losing streak since a six-game slide from Jan. 20-Feb. 2, 2008.
Anaheim hasn't played since blowing a two-goal lead Sunday in a 4-2 loss to Edmonton. The Ducks outshot the Oilers 40-25, two days after having a 50-29 edge in a 4-3 defeat to Columbus. They had been 7-1-1 at home before those two losses.
Anaheim has scored two or fewer goals in four of five games during its skid.
Bobby Ryan scored his ninth goal of the season Sunday, but captain Ryan Getzlaf went pointless for the fifth time in nine games - he has one goal in that span.
"Us getting 40 shots isn't really relevant if you're taking all the shots from the boards or the blue line," Getzlaf said. "We're not doing a good enough job getting pucks there or getting people there. The effort's there, but we've got to bear down. We've got to learn from those mistakes and go forward."
Anaheim is likely to have Jonas Hiller in net. He had won five straight starts before losing to Chicago earlier this month, and he's 0-3-1 with a 2.98 goals-against average in his last four games.
Hiller, though, is 5-2-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his career against the Blackhawks, and Anaheim is 9-1-1 in its last 11 at home versus Chicago. The Ducks have lost just three of their last 23 home games in the series.
Chicago has split the first four games of its annual November road trip, which ends Saturday in Los Angeles. The Blackhawks are looking to bounce back after falling 5-2 in San Jose on Wednesday night.
They gave up two third-period goals and have allowed 28 this season, second-most in the league.
Chicago (11-11-2) ranks fourth in the NHL with 71 goals but has been hampered by in-zone turnovers and spotty defensive play. Already with 13 losses - a total they didn't reach until Dec. 29 last season - the Blackhawks' puck-possession game has been lacking, and the frustration of captain Jonathan Toews seems to be growing.
"We have to move the puck faster," Toews said after Wednesday's loss. "We're all skilled players; we have to see what's opening up. I don't know if we took it easy but all we did was throw the puck around the boards. We'll just keep moving forward. We can't get angry at each other."
Patrick Sharp scored off a deflection for his team-leading 13th goal and Marian Hossa notched his fourth assist in two games, but he has only one goal over his last 12.