The Anaheim Ducks attempt to conclude their five-game homestand with a winning record when they host the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Anaheim, which had won just one of its previous five contests at Honda Center, improved to 2-1-1 on the current string with Wednesday’s 4-2 triumph over Boston.
Rickard Rakell, who leads the Ducks in both goals (six) and points (15), has collected a goal and seven assists over his last six contests. Florida is wrapping up a California road trip on which it has ended up on both sides of a shutout. After blanking San Jose on Thursday, the Panthers suffered a 4-0 loss at Los Angeles two days later - their seventh setback in their last 10 overall games (3-5-2). Florida’s top line has been in a slump of late, as the trio of Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov failed to record a point in three of the last four contests.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (7-10-2): Florida could be without Radim Vrbata as the veteran right wing was hit in the face with a puck less than two minutes into Saturday’s loss and missed the rest of the game. The 36-year-old Czech has recorded three goals and eight assists over 19 contests in his first season with the club. Vincent Trocheck leads the team with eight tallies but is mired in a four-game drought, which followed a four-game goal-scoring streak.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (8-7-3): Injury-riddled Anaheim received some good news Saturday as defenseman Cam Fowler, who has been out since Oct. 20 with a knee injury, participated in a full practice and may be close to returning. Kevin Roy became the third member of the team to score his first career goal on Wednesday, doing so in his third NHL game to join Derek Grant and Kalle Kossila. Sami Vatanen is two points shy of tying Fredrik Olausson (127) for sixth place on the franchise list among defensemen.
1. Anaheim will honor 2017 Hall-of-Fame inductees Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne during a pregame ceremony.
2. Florida C Nick Bjugstad’s next game will be the 300th of his NHL career while Ducks D Josh Manson will reach 200 with his next contest.
3. Anaheim D Hampus Lindholm may return after missing Wednesday’s contest due to a lower-body injury.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Panthers 1