Near the bottom of the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks are in no position to take any team lightly. Their recent domination of the Colorado Avalanche suggests otherwise.
The Ducks seek their fourth win in five games overall and their fifth consecutive victory over the Avalanche on Tuesday night when the teams meet at Pepsi Center.
A playoff team each of the last four seasons, Anaheim (14-14-7) was among the league's worst clubs with a 6-10-3 record through mid-November. The Ducks, however, have been much better since that slow start with an 8-4-4 record in their last 16 games.
"You look at the standings every day, and we don't seen to be moving much. But we're getting points in these games," center Todd Marchant said. "So we've got to start making our push and get ourselves in a playoff spot. It's going to take a lot of effort and sacrifice."
The Ducks have outscored the Avalanche 19-7 during four straight wins in the series, and they're 8-1-0 in the last nine meetings.
Jonas Hiller has played a big role in that success, going 4-1-0 with a 1.59 goals-against average lifetime against Colorado. While Hiller will likely be in net Tuesday looking to extend a personal three-game win streak, Jean-Sebastien Giguere has also played well recently versus the Avalanche, winning four straight starts with a 1.72 GAA.
Hiller was excellent in Anaheim's 4-2 victory over visiting Phoenix on Saturday, stopping 39 shots, including all 17 in the first period.
"Our goalie gave us a chance, obviously," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told the team's official Web site. "The first period we were slapping the puck around and were flat. That is what you need, your goalie to pitch you a shutout for a period or so and then you get your feet underneath you."
Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan scored power-play goals for Anaheim, which entered Monday with the league's second-best power-play percentage (23.5). The Ducks are 6 for 18 with the man advantage in their last four games against the Avalanche.
Getzlaf -- the team leader with 39 points -- has scored a goal in three straight games, matching the longest run of his career. Ryan, meanwhile, has three goals and five assists during a six-game point streak.
While Anaheim has dominated Colorado recently, the Northwest Division-leading Avalanche (21-11-6) enter this contest having won four of five, including a 4-3 victory at Minnesota on Monday night.
"Good win on the road for us against a team trying to inch back, getting closer to us," coach Joe Sacco said. "Our guys were very resilient."
Matt Hendricks scored short-handed to cap a three-goal second period for Colorado, which has an opportunity for its first three-game win streak since a four-game run Oct. 23-28.
Craig Anderson had his second consecutive strong performance since struggling in a 6-1 loss to Washington last Tuesday. He finished with 28 saves against Minnesota but could give way to backup Peter Budaj in this back-to-back scenario. Budaj, though, is 0-4-2 with a 3.31 GAA in his last six starts against Anaheim.