By Michael Walters
After what has seemed to be an eternity, the Anaheim Ducks(11-13-5) finally get back in game action against the Buffalo Sabres(13-16-3). The game starts at 4pm PST.
Keys To The Game:
1. Passing: When Anaheim wins they make quality passes and get the forecheck established. When the Ducks passing is lacking, then too many turnovers result creating scoring chances for their opponents.
2. Power Play: The Ducks have improved their power play unit, but recently had issues converting in the past couple of games. The Ducks used their time off this week to focus on special teams.
1. Power Play: Buffalo has the 5th best power play unit at 22% efficiency. They will go up against the Ducks’ NHL second best penalty kill unit.
2. Defense: The Sabres do give up an average of 2.63 goals per game and are 21st in the league for goals against with 84. They need to keep Anaheim below three goals for a good chance to win tonight.
Players To Watch:
2. Ryan Getzlaf: The captain has still had trouble scoring goals. Hopefully he can get something going on this critical road trip.
1. Ryan O’Reilly: He leads Buffalo with 28 total points (11 goals + 17 assists). He leads the team with five power play goals and is second on the team in game winning goals(2).
2. Rasmus Ristolainen: He leads all defenseman in goals(7) and total points(23). He also has four power play goals.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:
Jiri Sekac will return to the lineup on the second line as he has been officially taken off the Injured Reserve list. Nate Thompson begins the first of his three game suspension tonight. Simon Despres has improved, but is still not ready to play.
Buffalo Sabres Projected Lineup (Per):
Ducks: John Gibson 4-3-1 GAA 1.74 SV% .934% (Probable)
Sabres: Chad Johnson 8-9-1 GAA 2.46 SV% .911% (Probable)
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