PREVIEW: Ducks Look To Rebound Against Blues

Image: parkhub.wordpress.com

Image: parkhub.wordpress.com

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(16-16-7) look to rebound tonight against the St. Louis Blues(23-14-6).  The Ducks played the Blues once back on October 29th losing 2-1. Hampus Lindholm scored the only Ducks goal in that contest. Tonight’s game starts at 7PM PST.

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Keys To The Game:

Ducks:

1. Game Plan: The Ducks got away from their game plan after the first 20 minutes against the Leafs. If can they can stay with what has been working (forecheck, clogging neutral zone, & blocking shots), then they should be able to get back on track tonight.

2. Scoring: The Ducks were shut out for the 8th time in the last contest. The Ducks have to stick with the forecheck by working the corners and getting players in front of the opposing net. When they play a perimeter game they can create chances, but they need to create quality ones.

Blues:

1. Power Play: The Blues have the 4th best power play at 22.2%. A key matchup will be their power play against the Ducks league leading penalty kill.

2. Face-offs: St. Louis is 9th in the league in face-off winning percentage at 50.8%. These teams are evenly matched as the Ducks are ranked 3rd in the league at 51.9%.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Jakob Silfverberg: He hasn’t produced much during the regular season with only three goals. He has been with Ryan Kesler on the second line for most of the season. It will be interesting to see if he is moved to another line eventually.

2. Carl Hagelin: Almost halfway through the season Hagelin has eight points. He is on pace for about 20 points, which is 15 points less than his last season in New York. Hopefully he can pick it up for the second half of the season.

Blues:

1. Vladimir Tarasenko: He leads the Blues in goals with 24 and totals points with 43. He burned the Ducks the last game these two teams met. He is a threat to score every time he takes a shift.

2. Paul Stastny: He currently has a five game point streak. He is fourth on the team in assists. He also has two power play goals and two game-winning goals..

Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:

The Ducks had an optional skate this morning and John Gibson was first off the ice. Jiri Sekac will draw back in and Mike Santorelli will be a scratch. Santorelli was slammed hard against the boards in the last game, but appears okay per Stephens’ response to my inquiry.

Offense

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Carl Hagelin  – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg 

Jiri Sekac – Shawn Horcoff – Andrew Cogliano 

Patrick MaroonNate Thompson – Chris Stewart

Defense

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Sami Vatanen – Kevin Bieksa

Shea Theodore – Korbinian Holzer

St. Louis Blues Projected Lineup (Per NHL.com):

Offense

Alex SteenPaul StastnyTroy Brouwer

Robby FabbriJori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Patrik BerglundDavid BackesMagnus Paajarvi

Dmitrij JaskinKyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Defense

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Joel EdmundsonKevin Shattenkirk

Carl GunnarssonColton Parayko

Starting Goalies:

Ducks:        John Gibson                    8-5-2 GAA 1.75 SV% .929% (Confirmed)

Blues:         Jake Allen                       10-18-3 GAA 2.17 SV% .924% (Confirmed)

Team Comparison

GP RECORD HOME ROAD L10 G/GP GA/GP PP% PK% PIM/GP S/GP SA/GP FO%
43 23-14-6 13-7-3 10-7-3 4-4-2 2.42 2.46 22.2 85.4 9.7 30.7 29.0 50.8
39 16-16-7 10-6-4 6-10-3 5-3-2 1.85 2.36 19.6 89.1 12.8 29.8 27.5 51.9

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