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Ducks return home, host Hawks, following season-altering road trip

December 5, 2018, 9:17 PM ET [4 Comments]
Steve Palumbo
San Jose Sharks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Anaheim Ducks head home following an inspiring five-game road trip. Despite a slow start to the season, Anaheim is riding a four-game winning streak and are 6-2-2 in the last 10 games.

The Ducks have moved into second place in the Pacific Division with a 14-10-5 record and 33 points. They trail Calgary by three points for the division lead and can get even closer with a win over the struggling Chicago Blackhawks tonight at Honda Center.

The recent road trip may be the turning point in the season for Randy Carlyle's club. After losing the first game , they've rallied to win their last four, including that thriller against the defending Cup champions. The mounted a ferocious comeback to beat the Capitals 6-5 in regulation after trailing 5-1 in the second period.

Pontus Aberg was the biggest hero in a game full of them. The waiver claim scored the game winner late in the third period. Aberg had six points (3g 3a) on the road trip, providing much needed secondary scoring.

The Ducks need more scoring like that throughout the lineup. Anaheim ranks second to last in the NHL in offense. They average 2.34 goals per game (29th) and have a minus-13 goal differential this season - third worst in the Pacific Division behind only Los Angeles and Vancouver.

For the second consecutive season, the Ducks dealt a defenseman for a forward to help out the anemic offense. Anaheim traded away youngster Marcus Pettersson (one of my faves) to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward and fellow youngster, Daniel Sprong.

Sprong produced in the AHL leve,l but it didn't translate on the Pens deep NHL roster. Sprong has four assists in 16 games with Pittsburgh. The 21-year-old should have a shot to be an everyday player with the Ducks.

Also, it would behoove guys like Rickard Rakell (two goals in last 15 games) and Jakob Silfverberg (no goals in 12 games), to chip in on the scoring sheet a bit more often. Maybe Chicago is just what the offensive doctor ordered? The Hawks are allowing 3.68 goals per games, second worst in the entire league.

Thanks for reading,
Steve
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