Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/22/12
Reporting from Los Angeles, Calif. -- The Anaheim Ducks 2012 Winter Tour has been playing to rave reviews, and with one final show at Raleigh's RBC Center Thursday night (Prime Ticket 4:00 PT), the team is looking for an encore performance that would help define this road trip as the most productive in franchise history. It also marks the longest string of consecutive days that the Ducks have ever spent away from Honda Center. Though the club played nine consecutive road games in January and February, 2008, it was broken up by the All-Star Break and featured 14 days on the road, one shy of the current trip. With a 5-1-1 record through the first seven games, should Anaheim earn a point against Carolina, it would mark the most points generated by any road trip in club history. The February, 2008 trip ended with a 5-3-1 record. "Well, we've got seven games on this road trip, and it'd be hard pressed for me to think that we shouldn't have won all seven," Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday to AnaheimDucks.com. While Boudreau can take credit for much of the Ducks' success this season, it has been the play of Jonas Hiller in the second half of the season that has allowed the Ducks to climb to within six points of a playoff berth prior to Thursday's action. Since his return from a groin injury on January 12, Hiller's 12-3-4 record with a 1.76 GAA and .931 save percentage over 19 consecutive starts has given Anaheim some cushion to play a confident game, one in which mistakes aren't as frequently ending up in the back of the net. Statistics and team records aside, the Ducks are all of a sudden fighting for a playoff spot and can't afford to leave points on the table. When Steven Stamkos scored 28 seconds in to Tuesday's 3-2 loss at Tampa Bay, a game Anaheim controlled the final 40 minutes of, it represented a poor start similar to many clunky opening minutes the Ducks endured in the first half of the season. "When you're used to winning and I think they are now those games really hurt," Boudreau told Anaheim Ducks.com. "That's why everybody looks down after the game, and rightfully so. But that's the feeling you want everybody to have. You don't want them to be jumped up and down, going OK, we're done, let's go to the next game.' You want them to feel upset, whether it's game one or game eight, because you don't want them to feel that any loss is particularly good." Noting that Carolina is "known for their first periods and their starts," Saku Koivu told Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register that the team will be focusing on a stronger first period Thursday night. "Sometimes when you lose your focus a little bit and something happens on the road trip, it shows at the beginning of the game in the first period," Koivu said. "That's one thing that we've got to pay attention to now. Make sure that we're ready for the first 10, 15 minutes." "If we kind of weather the storm, I think we'll be fine after that." Considering the lack of any real margin for error, Boudreau likened each regulation loss to "losing a game seven" before the team left town two weeks ago. Two days after that comment, Anaheim defeated Carolina by doing what all teams on an extended roll do: they received a touch of good luck. Corey Perry wasn't called for tripping Jussi Jokinen behind the Hurricanes' net in overtime prior to scoring on a give-and-go with Sheldon Brookbank, an image no doubt still fresh in the Hurricanes' minds. "All these games that we're going to win are going to be nailbiters," Boudreau said after Perry's game-winner on February 8. "Everybody we play from here on in is pretty well in the playoffs or got a shot at it. They're going to play like that, so they're going to be tough."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eli Manning: I 'deserve some criticism' for some of Giants' woes

L.A. mayor: City would have been fine with one NFL team

MLB-wide home run record falls with 12 days to spare

Top storylines heading into college football Week 4

Dolphins suspend Lawrence Timmons indefinitely

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Greg Olsen placed on IR, will miss at least eight weeks

Report: NFL official under investigation for domestic violence

Alvarez vs. Golovkin result gives boxing another black eye

Jerry Jones defends Elliott amid criticism over lack of effort

NFL monitoring CFL’s decision to end contact practices

RG3 fires back at Santana Moss over Mike Shanahan comments

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

College football 2017 Week 3 predictions

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

The 'Will the Indians ever lose again?' quiz

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker