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Ducks shoot for bounce-back win in St. Louis

(SportsNetwork.com) - After losing for only the second time in 20 games on Friday, the Anaheim Ducks will try to get back in the win column when they visit the St. Louis Blues for Saturday's clash at Scottrade Center.

Anaheim was aiming to become the second team in NHL history to win 19 times in a 20-game span Friday evening in Chicago, but the Ducks fell behind early and were never able to catch the Blackhawks in a 4-2 loss at United Center.

The loss -- Anaheim's first since Dec. 29 in San Jose -- halted an eight-game winning streak for the Pacific Division leaders and it came two days after the Ducks routed Vancouver by a 9-1 score.

Marian Hossa scored a pair of goals, including a key empty-net score in the final eight seconds, to help the Blackhawks cool off the Ducks. Hossa also scored short-handed midway through the opening period and Kris Versteeg followed with a goal in the first to stake Chicago to a 2-0 lead at the end of 20 minutes.

Bryan Bickell made it a 3-0 game with 9:47 left in the third, but Ryan Getzlaf scored with 6:13 remaining for the Ducks and Kyle Palmieri made it a one-goal game just 53 seconds later.

Anaheim went with an extra skater twice over the final minute-plus of regulation, but were unable to get the equalizer before Hossa put the crucial insurance goal into the empty cage.

"We didn't come ready to play, to meet them," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "And maybe with all the press we've gotten in the last days some guys just weren't ready for this."

Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller lost for the first time since Dec. 3, ending his club-record win streak at 14 games and remaining tied with Tom Barrasso for the second-most consecutive wins in one season by a goaltender.

Backup goaltender Frederik Andersen could give Hiller a breather on Saturday with the Ducks playing on back-to-back days.

The Ducks won the first of three scheduled meetings against the Blues on Dec. 7, taking the contest at Scottrade Center by a 5-2 score. Andrew Cogliano scored twice for Anaheim, which has won four of five in the series overall and two of three in St. Louis.

The Blues have lost two of their last three games, but they hope to get a boost Saturday with the return of leading goal-scorer Alexander Steen. The Swedish winger was activated from injured reserve on Friday and is ready to go after missing the last 11 games with a concussion.

"I think we're going to play him as much as he can handle," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after Friday's practice. "Hopefully he can get up to speed right away and play the minutes that he did before and contribute the way he did before because he was a huge impact player for us."

Despite having not played since Dec. 21, Steen is still leading the Blues with 24 goals, which ties his career-best for tallies in a season. David Backes is second on St. Louis with 17 goals.

St. Louis could certainly use the offensive help considering the club has scored a total of four goals over its last three outings. The Blues last were in action on Thursday when they dropped a 4-1 home decision against the Los Angeles Kings, who received 28 saves from goaltender Jonathan Quick.

T.J. Oshie provided the sole offense for the Blues, who suffered their first home defeat since a 4-2 setback to San Jose on Dec. 17. St. Louis had won five straight as the host before Thursday's setback and is still 18-4-2 as the home club this season.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 27 shots, but was his own worst enemy on a key score in the final period. It was a 3-1 game at 4:21 of the third, just 10 seconds after Los Angeles forward Jeff Carter was whistled for hooking, when Halak collected a dump-in behind his net, but failed to see Trevor Lewis in pursuit. Lewis picked up the disc, circled the net and tucked it inside the left post.

"I think I made a mistake at the worst possible time with the game on the line for us. Will take blame for this one. We lost two points because of me," said Halak.

Brian Elliott, who is 13-2-2 with a .925 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average this season, will get the start Saturday. He is 1-2-2 with a 3.45 GAA in six career games against the Ducks.

The Blues are capping a three-game homestand tonight and will begin a four- game road trip Monday in Detroit.

01/18 11:29:09 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal 4/18 7:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay CNBC, CBC, RDS, FSN-FL
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 1-0.
Detroit 4/18 7:30 PM ET
Boston NBCSN, TSN, FSN-DET, NESN
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Dallas 4/18 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim NBCSN, TSN, FSN-SW
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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