Preview: Ducks vs Penguins

Penguins-Ducks-jpg

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(10-12-5) host the Pittsburgh Penguins(14-9-2). Game starts at 5:00PM PST.

The Ducks are 2 points behind the Arizona Coyotes, who are in 3rd place, which may likely be the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.

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Keys To The Game:

Ducks:

1. Face offs: The Ducks are 6th in the league with a face off winning percentage of 51.4%. The addition of Nate Thompson should help the Ducks remain in the top of the league.

2. Power Play: The Ducks have gone 0 for 8 in their last two games on the power play. They had 4 chances in both of the games against Tampa Bay and San Jose, so they are getting the opportunities and need to start cashing in.

Penguins:

1. Defense: The Penguins rank 8th in the NHL in goals against per game at 2.36. If they can keep the Ducks to two goals or less, then they have a good chance of winning.

2. Shots: Pittsburgh is 9th in terms of shots per game at 30.4. They are going to need to pepper red hot John Gibson, if he does in fact start again tonight.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Mike Santorelli: He had the game winning goal against the Sharks on Friday and he is tied for third amongst forwards in goal scored with four.

2. Sami Vatanen: He is the Ducks’ 3rd leader in points behind Perry and Getzlaf. He has five goals and nine assists so far this season.

Penguins

1. Evgeni Malkin: Malkin leads the Penguins with 25 points(12 goals + 13 assists). He leads the team with six power play goals and five game winning goals.

2. Phil Kessel: He tied for second in total points with 17 and has 9 goals. The Penguins second line of Kessel, Malkin, and Perron has been a difficult line for opponents to match up against.

Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Yesterday’s practice was mainly done with an emphasis on the 3-on-3 overtime. Frederik Andersen got in some extra work. For more visit: Ducks Practice Report

Offense

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Nick RitchieRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg

Carl HagelinShawn HorcoffAndrew Cogliano

Mike SantorelliNate ThompsonChris Stewart

Defense

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Clayton StonerSami Vatanen

Pittsburgh Penguins Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Offense

Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyPascal Dupuis

David PerronEvgeni MalkinPhil Kessel

Beau BennettNick BoninoPatric Hornqvist

Sergei PlotnikovMatt CullenEric Fehr

Defense

Brian DumoulinBen Lovejoy

Olli MaattaIan Cole

Rob ScuderiDavid Warsofsky

Starting Goalies:

Ducks:                                John Gibson    3-2-1 GAA 1.55 SV% .942% (Unconfirmed)

Penguins:                            Jeff Zatkoff     2-1-1 GAA 2.43 SV% .936% (Unconfirmed)

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