After playing four straight and eight of nine away from home, the Anaheim Ducks returned to the Honda Center for one game before embarking on another two-game trip.
They couldn't be happier to be back on the road.
The Ducks look to rebound from a disheartening home loss when they go for a seventh straight road win Friday night against the Minnesota Wild.
Anaheim (32-22-4) has spent plenty of time away from southern California lately, but the road-heavy schedule has only helped boost its chances of making the Western Conference playoffs. Heading into Wednesday's visit by Washington, the Ducks' only loss in their last seven games was against San Jose on Feb. 2 -- their only home contest in that stretch.
Once again Wednesday, Anaheim couldn't deliver at home. Hours after All-Star goaltender Jonas Hiller went on injured reserve with a recurrence of dizziness, Anaheim blew four leads in a 7-6 defeat.
"I'm terribly disappointed in our hockey team tonight," coach Randy Carlyle told the NHL's official website. "It seemed like we lost all of our focus on the things that we've done in the previous three weeks or a month."
Perhaps taking to the road once again will get the Ducks back on track. Anaheim has surrendered 12 goals during its six-game winning streak away from home after yielding 3.1 per game in starting 9-13-3 on opposing ice.
The Ducks can win seven straight on the road for the first time since Nov. 28-Dec. 13, 2006 -- and widen their advantage over one of the teams close behind them -- by beating Minnesota (30-22-5).
"We've been playing well lately and have been able to beat some good teams on the road," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "All these points matter and you can't put that kind of effort (against Washington) out there."
Anaheim has lost four straight in St. Paul, though it picked up a point in its last three visits to the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild are just 14-12-2 there going into the opener of a three-game homestand. Minnesota has lost its last two contests, 4-1 at home to Vancouver on Tuesday and 3-1 a night later in Chicago -- which pulled the 11th-place Blackhawks within a point of the Wild.
Minnesota didn't score an even-strength goal in either game.
Though Minnesota had 29 shots versus the Canucks and 34 against Chicago, it's 6-9-3 when it takes more than 28. When the Wild record 27 or fewer shots on net, they're 24-13-2.
"What are you going to do?" said right wing Cal Clutterbuck, who has a team-high 18 goals and four in his last four games. "When they don't go in, they don't go in. The last thing we want to do is to start to worry about it. When you start to worry, you start to grip the stick a little tight – and that's when you really get into trouble."
Clutterbuck has one assist in nine games versus Anaheim.
The Wild may need to contain Corey Perry to have a chance at extending their home streak against the Ducks. Perry, who has four goals and 10 assists in six games in February, recorded a hat trick and two assists in Anaheim's 6-2 win over Minnesota on Dec. 12.
AccuScore has powered more than 10,000 simulations for every NHL game on ESPN.com, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions and opponent's abilities. Each game is simulated and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages.