Ducks-Coyotes Preview

Anaheim sat 16 points out of the Pacific Division lead six weeks ago and was just beginning to recover from a dismal start to the season after being a popular pick to make a deep postseason run.

Suddenly, the Ducks are tied atop the division and making their case as strong contenders in the Western Conference.

They'll look to extend their winning streak to 10 on Thursday night when they visit an Arizona Coyotes team trending in the opposite direction.

Anaheim (35-19-8) opened the season by scoring 10 goals in its first 10 games, losing nine of them while becoming the league's early disappointment after finishing a victory short of reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2014-15.

The Ducks lost to Los Angeles on Jan. 17 and the Kings extended their lead to 16 points with a victory on the 19th, but Anaheim won the next day to begin a 16-1-1 stretch.

Corey Perry scored the tying goal in the third before Jakob Silfverberg scored the only goal in the shootout to beat Montreal 3-2 on Wednesday.

Jamie McGinn scored in his debut for Anaheim, which tied idle Los Angeles for the division lead and is adding to a remarkable story as the postseason nears.

"We dug ourselves a hole early. It's nice to see where we've come," Perry said. "But at the end of the day, you still have 20 games left. You have to go out and keep pushing."

The Coyotes (27-30-6) won the first three meetings over the first six weeks of the season before Perry scored in Anaheim's 5-2 win Feb. 5, but Arizona is suffering through a dismal stretch that is making it more and more likely it will watch the playoffs from home.

Monday's 6-0 loss at Pittsburgh capped a winless five-game trip that extended the Coyotes' losing streak to six and dropped them to 5-14-2 since Jan. 14. They lost their third-leading point scorer when they traded eighth-year veteran Mikkel Boedker, who spent that entire time with Arizona, to Colorado hours before the defeat.

"It's really difficult," forward Shane Doan said. "(The trade) doesn't really matter. We were horrendous."

Veteran Alex Tanguay came over in the Boedker deal and practiced with his new teammates for the first time Wednesday, skating on a line with Antoine Vermette and Anthony Duclair. The 36-year-old had four goals and 18 assists in 52 games with the Avalanche.

Arizona sits eight points behind Minnesota for the West's final playoff spot and needs an Anaheim-like hot streak to get back in the hunt.

"I'll have the same approach I've always had - take it one game at a time and prepare as best as possible," Tanguay said. "I'm happy. There's a lot of talent here. There's a lot of young guys and a good mix of veterans.

"I've been playing an offensive role for a long, long time and I haven't had the best of years, but I feel good."

Even if Tanguay can help lift an offense that scored seven times during the trip, Louis Domingue will have to be better in net. He's posted a 4.04 goals-against average while starting each game during the losing streak and now has to contend with the red-hot Ducks, who have outscored opponents 33-18 during their winning streak.

John Gibson made 25 saves Wednesday for Anaheim, which could choose to go with Frederik Andersen in this one. Andersen is 10-0-1 with a 1.89 GAA over his starts since Jan. 13 and made 23 saves to beat the Coyotes in the last meeting.

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