March 04, 2015

With a little more offensive punch added to the mix, the Anaheim Ducks are in position to catch the Pacific Division leader.

The Ducks will do so with a ninth consecutive victory Wednesday night, when recently acquired forward Jamie McGinn is expected to take the ice against the visiting Montreal Canadiens.

Riding a 10-game point streak amid a 17-2-1 stretch, Anaheim (34-19-8) moved within two points of first-place Los Angeles after Sunday's 4-2 home win over the Kings.

''We're near the top of the mountain, but we're not at the top of the mountain yet, so we have to keep persevering," said coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team has won 22 of 28 since Christmas.

The Ducks are on their longest winning and point streaks since an 11-0-2 run in 2013-14 which included a franchise-record 10 consecutive victories. That season also marks the last time they won eight straight at home, something they could achieve Wednesday along with taking a piece of the Pacific lead, though Los Angeles currently holds the tiebreaker.

''We've put ourselves in a good spot just to continue and keep pushing forward,'' said forward Corey Perry, who ended a four-game point drought with three goals and an assist Sunday. ''It's right there. We can see it in our sights now, and it's getting closer.''

Anaheim has averaged a league-high 3.8 goals in 20 games since Jan. 13, is 13 of 29 on the power play in the last eight and gets deeper with Monday's acquisitions of McGinn and forward Brandon Pirri.

Pirri, who came over from Florida for a sixth-round pick, could miss two weeks with an ankle injury, but McGinn should be ready after being acquired from Buffalo for a conditional third-round selection. McGinn has 27 points in 63 games, and among the current Ducks, only Perry (26) and Rickard Rakell (16) have more than his 14 goals.

"(McGinn) fits with how we play out here right now," general manager Bob Murray said. "It was something we had talked about, and when he became available, it took to the last day to get it done."

The Ducks made two other minor moves shortly before Monday's trade deadline, including sending forward Patrick Maroon to Edmonton for a minor leaguer.

''I just thought we became deeper and more versatile," Murray said. ''I'm comfortable with what we did without (messing) up the chemistry too much.''

Murray didn't need to part with soon-to-be restricted free agent Frederik Andersen, who is 10-0-2 with a 1.81 goals-against average as a starter in 2016.

John Gibson, who made 27 saves Sunday, has won three in a row and stopped 37 shots in a 3-1 home victory over Montreal on March 4 when these teams last met.

Anaheim is 3-0-2 in its last five home games against the Canadiens (30-28-5), who have the fourth-fewest points in the Eastern Conference and were sellers prior to the deadline. After trading veteran forwards Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to Chicago last week, Montreal sent ex-Duck Devante Smith-Pelly to New Jersey on Monday.

"I'd say that for (rest of the season), our primary objectives are experience and evaluation," general manager Marc Bergevin told the Canadiens' official website.

Montreal's four-game point streak ended with Monday's 6-2 loss at San Jose.

"Nights like these are going to happen," coach Michel Therrien said. "We have a very young team right now. There are nights that are going to be tougher than others."

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has three goals in the last four games.

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