By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks (26-19-8) continue their road trip against the Chicago Blackhawks (36-18-4). The Ducks had played the Blackhawks twice this season and lost both times in overtime. This is the final regular season meeting and the game starts tonight at 5:30PM PT.
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Keys To The Game:
1. Defense: The Ducks didn’t play well defensively in two of their last three games. They need to play much better tonight or it could be a long evening against the Blackhawks.
2. Score Early: Anaheim needs to get it going early in this game and put the Blackhawks on their heels. Chicago has one of the best home records with only seven regulation losses.
1. Forecheck: Chicago needs to get the puck in deep and chase down the loose pucks. If they can get the Ducks to take penalties, then their 9th ranked power play(20.0% efficiency) will get chances to score.
2. Number 3: Chicago has been shutout three times in their last nine games and has only scored more than two goals twice in that time span. They need to score three goals tonight to have a good chance of winning this game.
Players To Watch:
1. Ryan Garbutt: He already has three goals for the Ducks, two of which are game-winners. He will get to face his former team tonight.
2. Ryan Getzlaf: The captain has picked up his game registering 12 points(2G +10A) in his last eight games. He has five multi-point games in that time span.
1. Patrick Kane: He leads the team in scoring with 77 total points(33G + 44A). He is deadly every time he is on the ice, especially the power play where he has 14 goals this season.
2. Artemi Panarin: He is second in total points with 52(18G + 34A). He is extremely creative in making plays and has a very good shot. He can also play either wing position.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:
Chris Stewart is being evaluated tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury he suffered when he was punched in the jaw by Dalton Prout. You can watch the video of the play here: Stewart To Have Exam. Nick Ritchie has been recalled, but us scratched. Harry Zolniercyzk will make his NHL debut tonight instead. Getzlaf suffered a bloody nose at the end of the game against Columbus, but will play today with a face shield.
There is no morning skate so the actual lineups won’t be known until the pre-game skate.
Chicago Blackhawks Projected Lineup (Per Leftwinglock.com):
Ducks: John Gibson 12-8-2 GAA 2.13 SV% .917% (Confirmed by Kent French)
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