October 30, 2014

It's no secret that the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks have used outstanding special teams as a major part of their success.

These are the league's top teams on the penalty kill and have also fared well on the power play heading into Friday night's matchup in St. Louis.

Anaheim (37-20-9) is at 86.6 percent on the penalty kill and St. Louis at 86.4. They are among the league's best with the man advantage as well, with the Ducks at 22.9 and Blues at 22.4.

St. Louis (39-20-9) showed how tough it can be on the penalty kill by limiting red-hot Chicago to 1 for 4 on the power play in Wednesday's 3-2 shootout victory. Jake Allen stopped the first seven shots he saw with the Blues a man down, and the only power-play goal St. Louis yielded came during a 5-minute penalty to Ryan Reaves.

''Our penalty killers did a heck of a job,'' coach Ken Hitchcock said. ''That's a power play that's what, in the last 10 games, is 50 percent almost? Their numbers are incredible. The whole penalty kills, the two 2-minute penalties and the 5-minute penalty, I thought we did a great job.''

The league has rescinded Reaves' game misconduct from that contest.

David Backes and Troy Brouwer scored on the power play as St. Louis improved to 15 for 44 (34.1 percent) in its last 14 games.

The Blues continue to play without Alexander Steen, second on the club with 47 points. Steen has missed the last seven games with an upper-body injury.

Anaheim has lost consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 21-22 after Wednesday's 3-0 defeat at Colorado in the opener of a two-game trip. It came two days after the Ducks' franchise-best 11-game win streak ended with a 2-1 shootout defeat to Washington.

The Ducks were shut out for the first time in 27 games Wednesday.

''We weren't prepared to play tonight. Simple as that,'' center Ryan Getzlaf said. ''They played well and we didn't show up to play.''

Anaheim is 0 for 7 on the power play in its last two games after going 19 for 43 during the win streak.

Corey Perry has gone three straight games without a point after a three-game stretch in which he had eight that followed a four-game pointless run.

Ducks center Shawn Horcoff is eligible to return after serving a 20-game suspension for violating the terms of the NHL's performance-enhancing substances program. Horcoff has 10 points in 45 games.

Defenseman Sami Vatanen, third on the team with 37 points, suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday and did not return. He will be re-evaluated before this game.

These teams have split two meetings, with St. Louis winning 2-1 at home Oct. 29 and Anaheim responding with a 4-3 shootout win Jan. 8. The Blues are 0 for 9 on the power play in those games and the Ducks 2 for 9.

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