By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(1-7-2) return home to face the Nashville Predators(7-1-2). The Ducks look to try to turn things around after tying their franchise worst start. The game starts at 5:00 PST.
In the first meeting between these teams the Ducks lost 5-1. Anton Khudobin gave up four goals before Jiri Sekac was able to get a goal on the power play. The Ducks started that game fine, but the dreaded second period did them in. This game will have a different outlook as Frederik Andersen should get the start in net. The Predators are also coming off playing the Kings last night so Pekka Rinne may not be in net tonight.
If you missed it, our first 10 game review has been posted here: Ducks: October Review. Our newest podcast is up as well. We preview the upcoming week and talk about how the Ducks can right the ship. You can listen here: DucksNPucks Podcast.
Keys To The Game:
1. Passing: When the Ducks get the puck in their defensive zone they need to make smart plays with the puck. Instead of making one pass and dumping the puck in, the Ducks need to try to make two or three good passes to hopefully carry the puck in the zone more often.
2. Forecheck: The Ducks need to start outworking their opponents in the offensive zone. The players need to get to the loose pucks first and start crashing the net every time a shot is taken. If they work harder, then they can create their own puck luck to get some bounces their way.
1. Power Play: Nashville is 10th in the league at 22.6% efficiency with the extra man. The Ducks have the second best penalty kill, but they have been spending too much time each game killing penalties, which makes it difficult to sustain a forecheck.
2. Defense: The Predators are the 6th best defensive team only giving up 2.10 goals per game. If Rinne doesn’t start because of the back-to-back scenario, then the Ducks may have a better chance to score.
Players To Watch:
2. Ryan Kesler: Kesler is another player that needs to step up with the Captain out. If the Ducks are going to turn things around on this home stand, then Kesler is going to have to start making plays whether it’s getting a goal or making a good pass to create chances for fellow line mates.
1. James Neal: Neal has been on a tear to start the season. He has seven goals and three assists in 10 games. The Ducks are going to need to try to slow him and the top line of the Preds down tonight.
2. Craig Smith: Smith has added some scoring to the Predators lineup with three goals. He skates well and can play both center and wing giving Nashville options in the face-off circle.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):
This was the lineup to start last game. Once any updates are given this will be adjusted.
Nashville Predators Projected Lineup:
Ducks: Frederik Andersen 0-5-2 GAA 2.05 SV% .932 (Probable)
Predators: Carter Hutton 1-0-0 GAA 2.77 SV% .927 (Probable)
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