The Anaheim Ducks have a great chance to distance themselves from the rest of Western Conference this week, as a big win on Monday has the team and goaltender Viktor Fasth back on track. The Ducks and Dallas Stars were set to meet three times this week starting Monday, and the Ducks took a 4-0 win in that first meeting. As the teams prepare to face off again Wednesday the Stars will be missing Jaromir Jagr and Derek Roy, who were sent packing in trade deadline deals.
With the Stars in rough shape, the opportunity for the Ducks to secure two more wins may never be easier. Fasth’s shutout Monday was his third of the season, but the outing was easily his best in the past two weeks. The Ducks had lost four of five games as Fasth and Jonas Hiller both struggled, and seeing Fasth get back to the level of play he started the season at should help build confidence for the final two meetings with the Stars. The Ducks trail only the Chicago Blackhawks in the standings (by four points), but have a nine-point lead on the Minnesota Wild (third). As most of the teams trailing them in the standings made significant deals this week to improve for the playoff push, the need for the Ducks to play at a sustained high level has never been higher if they hope to hang on to one of the top two spots in the standings.
The Ducks made one trade deadline move on Wednesday, sending prospect Brandon McMillan to the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for Matthew Lombardi. In 21 games for the Coyotes this season, Lombardi has four goals and eight points.