Preview: Ducks vs Sharks

ducks-sharks

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(9-12-5) continue the home stand against the San Jose Sharks(14-10-0). The Ducks have split the first two games against the Sharks this season. San Jose shutout Anaheim in their first meeting and the Ducks returned the favor in the second game. Game starts at 7:00PM PST.

The Ducks are 4 points behind the Arizona Coyotes, who are in 3rd place, which may likely be the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division. This is another important division battle as the Ducks continue to try to climb in the standings. The Ducks need to win these games in regulation to help improve their situation.

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Keys To The Game:

Ducks:

1. Power Play: In the last game the Ducks had four opportunities with the extra man and three of them in the final period. If the Ducks are going to get that many chances in a game, then they need to score at least once in those given power plays.

2. Puck Possession: According to NHL.com, the Ducks are the 5th best team in the league in terms of puck possession at 53.72%. The Ducks have been controlling the puck better, working the forecheck, and getting plenty of shots. They just haven’t been scoring enough goals consistently.

For a more detailed explanation of puck possession please visit here: NHL Enhanced Stats. If you still have questions, then please contact me.

Sharks:

1. Face Offs: The Sharks are the third best face off team at 52.4% efficiency. The Ducks are the fifth best at 51.5%, so the game may come down to key face offs late in the third period.

2. Which Team: In three of the Sharks’ last eight games they scored five goals. In four of the games they scored two goals or less. It will be interesting to see which team shows up tonight.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Corey PerryHe leads the Ducks with nine goals and has scored four of them in his last five games. He also leads Anaheim in total points with 18.

2. Rickard RakellHe is the Ducks’ second leading goal scorer with six goals. He has scored three goals in his last five games and has been a nice compliment on the first line with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.

Sharks

1. Joe PavelskiHe leads the Sharks in total points with 24(12 goals + 12 assists). He has earned six points in his last four games and is currently on a four game point streak.

2. Patrick MarleauHe is the second leading goal scorer with 10 goals and has a five game point streak. He has recorded four goals and four assists in his last five games.

Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Yesterday Frederik Andersen said he felt that he was close to playing again. John Gibson will start again tonight.

Offense

Rickard Rakell   Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Nick Ritchie  Ryan Kesler  –  Jakob Silfverberg

Carl Hagelin  – Shawn Horcoff – Andrew Cogliano  

Mike Santorelli – Nate Thompson – Chris Stewart 

Defense

Cam Fowler Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson

Clayton StonerSami Vatanen

San Jose Sharks Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Offense

Melker KarlssonJoe ThorntonJoe Pavelski

Joonas DonskoiPatrick MarleauJoel Ward

Matthew NietoTomas HertlTommy Wingels

Dainius ZubrusChris TierneyMike Brown

Defense

Marc-Edouard VlasicBrenden Dillon

Paul MartinBrent Burns

Mirco MuellerMatt Tennyson

Starting Goalies:

Ducks:                            John Gibson      2-2-1 GAA 1.87 SV% .932% (Confirmed)

Sharks:                           Martin Jones        12-7-0 GAA 2.23 SV% .921% (Probable)

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