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Ducks Gameday: Vegas begins run of Pacific Division opponents

By in Press Enterprise on December 28, 2017

By Eric Stephens

ANAHEIM — The Ducks will start a run of seven consecutive games against Pacific Division teams when they take on the first-place Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night at Honda Center.

Ryan Kesler will be among them for the first time this season. Kesler is in the lineup for his season debut after missing nearly three months to rehabilitate from offseason hip surgery.

The center was impressed with how the Ducks did without him for the first 37 games. As they come off their Christmas holiday break, the Ducks (16-13-8) resumed play holding the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference despite dealing with injuries to a multitude of key players.

“It’s pretty incredible how a team can come together and rally around that,” Kesler said. “With the way our goalies played, with the way guys have played stepping up in the lineup, it’s pretty impressive.”

Following their game against the Golden Knights, the Ducks will host Calgary and Arizona before going on a three-game trip to Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary before returning home to face the Kings after their mandatory five-day schedule break.

“It’s an important stretch,” Jakob Silfverberg said. “Coming into the break, the two games – the Islanders and Pittsburgh – we played good hockey. So we just have to make sure that’s where we start off tonight. It’s huge games coming up for us and we know that.

“We’ve got to take that one at a time. Tonight, we play Vegas, who we lost to the two previous times. It’ll be a good game. Hopefully we’ll win.”

John Gibson (11-11-4, 2.77 GAA, .922 save percentage) will get the start in goal. Gibson’s last game was his first shutout of the season, a 29-save effort to beat Pittsburgh in his hometown.

Two players on the Ducks’ top line have notable streaks. Ryan Getzlaf has […]    

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