Panthers vs. Ducks Preview
Anaheim, CA (AP) - Having bounced back nicely from a six-game losing streak, the Anaheim Ducks are now pushing for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Coming off a shutout, the Ducks look to pull into a tie atop the Pacific as they go for their third straight win Wednesday night against the Florida Panthers.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Ducks -140 money line NHL odds favorites for Wednesday's game against the Panthers. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 76% of more than 134 bets for this game have been placed on the Ducks -140.
Anaheim (12-11-3) beat Los Angeles 2-0 on Monday, as Jonas Hiller made 27 saves for his seventh career shutout. Cam Fowler and Jason Blake scored while Teemu Selanne had two assists for the Ducks, who appear to have put their six-game skid behind them with solid, determined play.
"That's the type of game our hockey club has to play night in and night out," coach Randy Carlyle told the team's official website. "It was a good one for us. We had an effort from every member of our group. That is what is important.
"The true display was at the end of the game, when people that were on the ice were sacrificing their bodies to block shots and get into shooting lanes to protect that shutout for Jonas Hiller."
Fowler's goal was the Ducks' sixth on the power play in seven games.
The victory gives Anaheim the chance to end Wednesday night in a tie for first in the tightly bunched division. The five Pacific teams are separated by three points.
The Ducks will look to continue their roll as they play the second game of a four-game homestand. Anaheim, 8-4-1 on home ice, snapped a three-game skid there with the win over Los Angeles.
The Ducks have won four of six against the Panthers and took the last meeting 3-0 on the road Feb. 1, with Hiller making 33 saves for his last shutout before Monday. He's likely to be back in net for the teams' only meeting of this season.
Florida (10-12-0) has been off since stopping a three-game slide with a 4-3 shootout road win over Tampa Bay on Saturday.
Stephen Weiss scored in the fourth round of the tiebreaker for the Panthers, winners of two straight and three of four on the road.
"We needed that, probably, more than they did," coach Peter DeBoer said. "We played some tight games this week and managed to find a way to lose them, so it was an important two points for us."
DeBoer's club, last in the Southeast Division, would have more chances to pick up points if it gets its power play on track. The Panthers went 0 for 4 with the man advantage and have failed to score on 37 straight opportunities.
Florida's Tomas Vokoun, who made 34 saves Saturday, has gone 2-8-1 with 3.29 goals-against average in his career at Anaheim. If he starts, he'll look to slow down Selanne, who has eight goals and 15 assists in his last 20 games.Fowler has nine points in his last 10 contests.