Ducks Host Penguins, Looking For First Back-To-Back Wins This Season

(Sports Network) - Sidney Crosby dropped his gloves the last time Pittsburgh was on the ice, but it failed to spark his team to a victory. Crosby and the Penguins hope to avoid a fifth loss in six games overall and record a fifth straight victory over the Anaheim Ducks in tonight's meeting at the Honda Center.

Though Pittsburgh's captain has become one of the faces of the NHL for his playmaking ability, the 23-year-old showed his willingness to get physical in Wednesday's matchup in Dallas, engaging in a fight with Matt Niskanen in the second period.

Crosby even arguably got the better of Niskanen in his fifth career fight, but his team still lost in the scoresheet, dropping a 5-2 decision. Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cookie scored the goals, while Brent Johnson suffered his first regulation loss in seven starts after allowing all five goals on 29 shots.

"This was a game where we just got out-battled in every phase," said Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma. "We had opportunities to seize control on the power play and we didn't make the most of our chances."

It is unknown if Johnson will be in net tonight or if Bylsma will go with Marc-Andre Fleury. Johnson is 6-3-0 with a 2.20 goals-against average versus the Ducks, while Fleury has won all four of his career starts against them with a 2.50 GAA.

Pittsburgh has split the first two contests of a four-game road trip and will try to post a second straight victory in Anaheim. The Pens posted a 4-3 triumph at Honda Center on Nov. 3 of last season, snapping a five-game series losing streak, and then recorded a 5-2 home win over the Ducks 13 days later to improve to 5-0-1 in their last six games against Anaheim.

The Ducks have yet to post back-to-back wins this season, but can do so tonight after besting the Lightning, 3-2, in overtime on Wednesday. Teemu Selanne scored in regulation and then helped set up Ryan Getzlaf's game-winner in OT, giving the forward four goals and five assists over his last seven games.

"It was a big game for us," said Getzlaf. "It felt like we played pretty well tonight for the most part. We were able to come back at the end."

Rookie Kyle Palmieri scored to tie the game with 4:20 remaining in the third period in his NHL debut, while Jonas Hiller made 32 saves.

The Ducks improved to 3-1-1 at home after winning the opener of a three-game residency.

Hiller has allowed nine goals on 56 shots in losing both of his career starts versus the Penguins.

For more Ducks news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.

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