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Ducks savor success at home as they start road trip in Colorado

After three straight wins, including against previously unbeaten San Jose, Anaheim looks to six away games in 11 days.

February 05, 2013|By Lance Pugmire
  • Saku Koivu has two goals and seven assists for the Ducks who have won six of their last eight games.
Saku Koivu has two goals and seven assists for the Ducks who have won six of… (Alex Gallardo / Associated…)

The Ducks' credibility is soaring, with six wins in eight games and a three-game home sweep of Minnesota, the Kings and once-unbeaten San Jose Sharks in their immediate rear view.

"We have to enjoy this now," defenseman Sheldon Souray said after slapping in Monday night's winning goal against the Sharks. "It might not come as smoothly down the road."

"Down the road" starts Wednesday in Colorado, the beginning of a six-game trip in 11 days that includes stops at St. Louis (Saturday), Chicago (Tuesday), Detroit (Feb. 15) and nemesis Nashville (Feb. 16) before finally returning to Honda Center Feb. 18.

While the road presents the hazards of hostile crowds and unsettled nights of sleep, the Ducks can take comfort in a few positives.

Riding their best start since the Stanley Cup winning season of 2006-07, the Ducks (6-1-1) have scored a franchise-record 29 goals through eight games.

Backup goaltender Viktor Fasth, who should get at least two starts on the trip with the team facing two back-to-back games, is 3-0 after slowing high-powered San Jose (30 goals through eight games) to one goal Monday.

Fasth is enthused by the Ducks' improving defense. Even though he stifled a handful of close-range shots, the goalie said, "The guys did a good job keeping them outside, away from the slot."

And the Ducks power-play has been sound, ranking sixth in the NHL (seven goals in 27 power plays).

Although Souray took the opportunity to claim the San Jose victory proves they "can compete with every team in the league," he also expressed caution that the newness of the shortened season shouldn't let the Ducks get carried away about their abilities.

"We're a work in progress," Souray said.

Ducks on Wednesday


When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Pepsi Center.

On the Air: TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 830.

Record vs. Avalanche (2011-12): 1-2-1.

Etc.: Colorado started former Ducks hero Jean-Sebastien Giguere in goal Thursday, and he got the win. The Avalanche rank 30th in power-play success.

Twitter: @latimespugmire

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