Ducks Continue Home Streak, Penguins Look for 10th Straight Win
Just as the Miami Heat continue with its streak, NHL teams keep extending some of their own.
On Monday, the Anaheim Ducks advanced their home win streak to No. 12 by defeating the San Jose Sharks, 5-3. This represents a franchise record. The team now has the second greatest NHL season record at 21-3-4 and has earned a point in 11 consecutive games.
The win comes on the heels of re-signing Ducks Corey Perry to an eight-year, $69 million extension. It also included Emerson Etem getting his first league goal and assist while defenseman Francois Beauchemins hit two goals.
For the league, there’s 20 games remaining in the regular season and the Ducks now have a 12-point advantage over the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.
The team is 10 to 1 to win this year’s Stanley Cup. They will face a strong challenge on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
On Monday, the Blackhawks (24-2-3) defeated the team that snapped their streak, the Colorado Avalanche, 5-2 . Backup goalie Ray Emery extended his streak with 17 saves, giving him an unbeaten season to date.
At 11-0-0, Emery said of Monday’s game via ESPN, “I just want to play well. Each and every game is a new team, a new challenge and I just treat it as I want to win one game at a time,” Emery said. “I thought we played really well.”
Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews contributed to the win as they each had a goal and two assists. This helped the team reach another streak: they have won three consecutive games to hit 3-2-0.
For the Avalanche, they have now lost four straight games.
Looking ahead, the Blackhawks sit with 9 to 2 odds to win the Stanley Cup.
On Tuesday’s schedule, the Pittsburgh Penguins (22-8-0) will host the Washington Capitals (12-15-1).
Penguins vs. Capitals
In their Sunday win, the Penguins defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1. They now hold the Eastern Conference’s top spot and on Tuesday they’ll look for their 10th straight win.
This successful play has come in the absence of center Evengi Malkin. He’s now missed five consecutive games thanks to a concussion and an upper body injury. He is out indefinitely.
The Penguins are also playing without defenseman Kris Letang, who exited Sunday’s game after the first period and didn’t return. His status for Tuesday is unknown.
This hasn’t stopped the team from winning and they are currently the league’s greatest scoring team. Defense has also gone its way as the Penguins over five previous games, have given up five goals versus 37 in its nine prior ones.
For the Capitals, they don’t play well on the road: they’re 4-8-1. But they have won their last two of three games after losing three straight.
On Sunday, they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-3; they know every wins counts. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said via ESPN, “We need to win every day. This kind of situation, you have to do everything you can, game by game.”
Ovechkin sits as the team’s leader with his 11 goals. He plays well against the Penguins and has 39 point in his NHL career against them. In his last three games, he’s scored two goals with four assists versus the Penguins.
The two teams have already met twice this season and the Penguins have won both times. In their 6-3 Feb. 3 win, Chris Kunitz scored four goals–a first for a Penguin since Jaromir Jagr did on Oct. 14, 2000.
Then in the 5-2 win on Feb. 7, Sidney Crosby and Malkin each grabbed three points. The Penguins have taken three straight in the series and won back-to-back home matchups.
As for the Penguins keeping their streak alive on Tuesday, the odds are in their favor (-196, 6 o/u).