Ducks aim for a strong homestand as they close in on Kings for division lead

Ducks aim for a strong homestand as they close in on Kings for division lead
Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson, left, makes the save on Edmonton Oilers' Nail Yakupov, right, as Hampus Lindholm defends during first period onMonday. (Jason Franson / Associated Press)

The last extended trip of the season for the Ducks officially ended at 3 a.m. Tuesday when they arrived in Orange County from Canada.



"4 a.m., body time," Coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Rest was in order upon the Ducks landing one point behind the Kings for first in the Pacific Division despite missing a third of their defense to injury on most of the five-game trip. With seven games remaining in the regular season, the division crown is possible but goaltender Frederik Andersen said that isn't on their radar.

"It's not something we look at too much," Andersen said. "We have a history of home-ice advantage. [But] I haven't really felt like [it's] home-ice advantage. It's nothing that's vital for us. It's about playing well. It's about playing the way we want the rest of the year.

"We have the belief that we have the right tools in this group, and it's about executing. It's about working as hard as we need to so we can win everywhere."

Boudreau also said playing well is the focus. He pointed out that managing this home stretch is different than last season's 51-win, 109-point regular season. Thirty of their 42 victories have come after the holiday break.

"Let's not forget, our sense of urgency probably started Christmas Day, whereas last year it probably started April 5th," Boudreau said.

First in the division could mean a first-round playoff matchup and longer travel to play rising Nashville, while second or third place will likely mean a series with San Jose. Boudreau monitors the scenarios but isn't publicly rooting for one over the other.

"I've always thought that when you start wishing for an opponent, usually you don't like what you wished for," Boudreau said.

Boudreau did not have updates on defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Simon Despres, but he was awaiting a doctor's consultation with Bieksa, out the last two games because of an upper-body injury. Despres has sat out three games because of an undisclosed injury and Boudreau said he "he's coming along."

The results of an MRI exam on the shoulder of left wing David Perron might be known Wednesday or Thursday, a team spokesman said.

Nick Ritchie was re-assigned to San Diego.

Andrew Cogliano is nominated

Andrew Cogliano was selected by the Anaheim chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Assn. as the Ducks' nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Cogliano has the sixth-longest consecutive games played streak at 697. Monday was the latest example of his durability when he was shaken up by a hit but played on.

"I don't think people realize how tough he is," Boudreau said. "The way he handles himself as a professional is, to me, outstanding. I've never seen anything like it from any other player."



When: Wednesday, 7 p.m.

On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830

Update: The Ducks' 22-game regular-season home winning streak against the Flames is one short of the longest such streak in NHL history, set by Philadelphia against Pittsburgh from 1980 to 1987. Calgary wing Johnny Gaudreau sat out Monday's game becasue of an upper-body injury.