By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(6-8-4) continue their road trip in Nashville(10-3-3) tonight. This will be the Ducks third and final meeting against the Predators. The Ducks lost the first meeting 5-1 in a game where they could never really get on track. In the more recent meeting, the Ducks jumped out to an early lead and never looked back beating the Predators 4-2. Tonight’s game is at 5 PM PST.
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Keys To The Game:
1. Balanced Scoring: Last night it was great to see as four different Ducks’ players scored. Sami Vatanen got his fourth goal which leads all Ducks’ defensemen. Shawn Horcoff scored his third goal and Carl Hagelin recorded his second on the season. And finally Ryan Getzlaf scored his first goal of the season. The Ducks are going to need this type of effort against a difficult Predators team.
2. Pressure: The Ducks didn’t earn any power play chances last night. The Ducks need to continue working the puck into the opponent’s zone and make them take penalties. Since this is the second of back-to-back games, the Ducks need to spend time playing more offense keeping their defense as fresh as possible.
1. Which team: In two of the Predators last four games they scored seven goals in each win. In the other two games, they only scored one combined goal. It will be interesting to see which team shows up tonight.
2. Power Play: Nashville owns the NHL’s 9th best power play unit at 21.8%. It would serve the Ducks well to avoid the sin bin as much as possible tonight.
Players To Watch:
1. Jakob Silfverberg: He was moved down to the fourth line in the last game as he has had trouble scoring goals. He did register an assist last night. Hopefully he can pick up his offensive game.
2. Nick Ritchie: With his first NHL game under his belt, Ritchie didn’t make an impact on the score sheet, but he did play well physically. He had four hits in 10:39 minutes of ice time.
1. James Neal: He leads the Predators with eight goals and 14 total points. He has four points in his last three games and leads the team in power play goals with three.
2. Roman Josi: He leads all Nashville defensemen with four goals and 12 total points. He has two goals in his last five games and has scored on the power play and short-handed.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:
The Ducks’ lineup below is from last night’s game. Due to the back-to-back scenario there likely won’t be a team skate this morning. One change that is expected is in net. Frederik Andersen should get the start tonight.
The Ducks recalled Shea Thedoore late last night. It should be interesting if he does play tonight. The Ducks would have to scratch two defensemen if he plays. Josh Manson did not play last night due to the flu and is a game time decision.
Nashville Predators Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):
Ducks: Frederik Andersen 3-5-4 GAA 2.33 SV% .924% (Probable)
Predators: Pekka Rinne 9-2-3 GAA 2.11 SV% .918% (Probable)
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