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Preview: Ducks wrap up five-game trek today in Motor City


The Ducks are set for the final of a five-game road trip East, taking on the Detroit Red Wings today at Little Caesars Arena.


Anaheim will be looking to end its first road trip of the season on a high and also snap a four-game losing skid. The Ducks took the high-flying Boston Bruins to a shootout Thursday night but couldn’t solve goaltender Linus Ullmark in the skills session, falling 2-1 on Taylor Hall’s game-clinching goal.

Despite the setback, the game was a step in the right direction for a Ducks team still trying to find their ideal 5-on-5 structure.

“I think it’s a big step for us” Frank Vatranowho scored Anaheim’s lone goal, said. “I think it’s the most complete game we’ve played. We looked at some things [Thursday] morning to solve the problems. Obviously it would be nice to have two points, but it’s nice to have one, and we have to build on that.”

Vatrano has scored in three of his first five games against Duck (3-0=3) and co-leads Anaheim in goal.

“It was a good game, probably the best we’ve played so far this year,” said the goalkeeper. John Gibson added. “We have to find a way to score on the power play (0 for 4). I mean, we had great opportunities there and decisive games, but we have to keep pushing forward.

Gibson has started four of Anaheim’s five games this season (1-2-1) and is tied for fifth among NHL leaders in saves.

The Ducks cap off the road trip to Detroit in a rematch of last season’s hottest rookie duos. Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider won the Calder Trophy, leading rookie defensemen with 50 points in 82 games. His teammate, Swedish winger Lucas Raymond, tied for second among freshmen in goals (23) and third in points (57). Ducks forward Trevor Zegras finished second in Calder voting, with 61 points in 75 games.

Anaheim has won three of the last five meetings with Detroit (3-2-0) and earned ranking points in seven of the last 10 matchups (5-3-2). The Ducks had three of four possible points last season, pushing both games against the Red Wings into overtime.

The Wings are off to a great start to the new season, scoring in each of their first four games (2-0-2), but are looking to bounce back from a 4-3 overtime loss to Chicago on Friday. Detroit led 3-1 in the third period, but three straight Blackhawks goals would give the rival Wings a road win.

Anaheim and Detroit will soon meet for Southern California’s half of the two-game season series, facing off Nov. 15 at the Honda Center.