By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks (12-14-5) face the New York Islanders (18-11-5) in their new home at Barclays Center. This will be the second and final meeting between these teams this year. New York won the first meeting 4-1 back on November 13th at Honda Center. Tonight’s game will be at 4PM PST.
Keys To The Game:
1. Power Play Attempts: The Ducks have had the least amount of power plays in the league at 84. They need to get the puck deep in the opponent’s zone and work the corners to get opposing defensemen to commit penalties against them.
2. Defense: It’s been a surprise to many, but when the Ducks win, it has been because of their penalty kill, team defense, and play of their goalies. It’s a formula that’s going to have to work for now until the offense can heat up.
1. Face-offs: The Islanders rank 20th in the league in face-off percentage with 49.5%. They will be tested tonight in the face-off circle, as Anaheim is ranked 7th at 51.2%.
2. Offense: The Islanders are 11th in the league with 88 total goals scored and score an average of 2.59 goals per game. If they can score three goals this game, then it will make it difficult for the Ducks to win.
Players To Watch:
1. Chris Stewart: He has been probably the Ducks best off season addition to the team. He started off slow in the beginning of the season(who didn’t?), but nows leads all newcomer forwards this year with 10 total points and six goals.
2. Ryan Kesler: He had the game winning goal in the last contest. He always makes an impact with his defensive play and face-off abilities, so getting him going offensively would be a welcomed sight.
1. John Tavares: He leads the team with 13 goals and is second in total points with 23. He is tied for the team lead in power play goals(3) and has the most game winning goals(4).
2. Frans Nielsen: He has scored the second most goals on the team(12). He is also a danger to score on the power play and penalty kill.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:
Any changes and starting goalie info won’t be known until the pre-game skate.
New York Islanders Projected Lineup (Per):
Ducks: Frederik Andersen 5-7-4 GAA 2.46 SV% .915% (Confirmed)
Islanders: Jaroslav Halak 9-6-3 GAA 2.10 SV% .922% (Confirmed)
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