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Coyotes-Ducks Preview - NBC Sports

Coyotes-Ducks Preview
November 23, 2014, 3:00 am

The Anaheim Ducks are still atop the Western Conference despite their recent lackluster play.

They might not be in first place much longer if they can't end their home woes Sunday night against the Arizona Coyotes.

Anaheim (12-4-5) snapped a three-game skid with Thursday's 4-3 shootout win at Vancouver - the seventh game of eight it has played past regulation. Matt Beleskey scored his ninth goal at the 11:52 mark of the third period to force overtime and Jakob Silfverberg scored the shootout winner.

The Ducks, who gave up three straight goals in the second period after going up 2-0 in the first, lead the West with 29 points but four teams are within two.

"We're giving points, but if you look at the glass half-full, we're getting points every game even when we're not playing at our best," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We've gotten points in nine of the past ten games. Eventually, that's going to turn."

They're hoping to get things turned around at home, where they're 1-2-3 over their last six despite an average plus-5.3 margin in shots. They've allowed five goals on 17 power plays during that stretch, which included a 3-2 shootout loss to Arizona on Nov. 7 to end a five-game win series win streak.

The Ducks are also hopeful Rene Bourque can reignite his career in Anaheim after acquiring him Thursday from Montreal in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen. Bourque has no goals in 13 games and owns a minus-nine rating after recording 11 points in 17 playoff games for the Canadiens last season. He hasn't played an NHL game since Nov. 4, recording two goals and two assists in four games for AHL Hamilton since being sent there on Nov. 10.

Bourque scored 21-plus goals in three straight seasons for Calgary from 2008-09-2010-11 but has 55 points in 179 games since. He joined the Ducks for Saturday's practice, though it's not clear if he'll be available Sunday. He has two goals and an assist in 11 career games at the Honda Center.

"I don't think his skills have diminished at all," Boudreau told the team's official website. "Hopefully we can motivate him to the point where he's playing the way he did in the playoffs last year. You know the skills are there. We're hoping this works out as a good fit for us."

The Coyotes (9-10-2) have won five of seven on the road with exactly one power-play goal in five straight away from home on 13 opportunities. Antoine Vermette scored on a first-period power play Saturday and recorded the shootout winner in a 4-3 victory at San Jose.

"When you're able to get through that, you come out thinking we have a chance for two points," coach Dave Tippett said of his team surviving the Sharks' 4-on-3 power play in the extra period. "It's fun to play here when you win. We'll take it and move on."

Martin Hanzal, who missed his third straight game Saturday due to a lower-body injury, has two goals and six assists in his last seven meetings. Mikkel Boedker is tied for the Arizona lead with seven goals but doesn't have a point in his last nine games against the Ducks.

Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal in the season's first meeting and has five goals and seven assists in his last nine matchups with Arizona.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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