PREVIEW: Ducks Face NHL Best Capitals

WSHvsANA

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(37-19-8) return home with their franchise best 11 game winning streak to take on the NHL top team the Washington Capitals(48-13-4). This is officially the first meeting of the year between the two teams as the original meeting was rescheduled to the last game of the regular season due to a snow storm. The game starts at 7PM.

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Coach Bruce Boudreau will earn his 200th victory as the Anaheim coach with a win tonight against his former Capitals team.

Keys To The Game:

Ducks

1. Physical: The Ducks need to establish the forecheck early and wear down the Capitals defense. This could be another close battle for Anaheim and they need to use their physical presence to control the tempo of this game.

2. Discipline: Anaheim needs to stay out of the penalty box. Washington is tied for second in the NHL in power play efficiency at 23.8%.

Capitals

1. Score First: The Capitals are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games, but every game has been decided by one goal. If they get a lead then they improve their chances to win this game.

2. Offense: Washington does lead the league in goals per game averaging 3.22. If they can score three or more goals in this game, then they will put themselves in a good position to earn two points.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Corey Perry: He leads the Ducks with 28 goals. He has five goals and three assists in his last four games.

2. Ryan Kesler: He had a goal to get things started in the last game against the Kings. He has a big test as he is likely going to be called upon to slow down Alex Ovechkin tonight.

Capitals

1. Alex Ovechkin: You can’t mention the Capitals without talking about Ovechkin. He leads the Capitals(and NHL) with 41 goals and trying to contain him has been a nightmare for opposing teams.

2. Evgeny Kuznetsov: He leads the capitals in total points with 66(20G + 46A). He has four points in his last six games.

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Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup:
This is the lineup from the last game. Any changes will probably be known after the morning skate.

Offense

David Perron – Ryan Getzlaf – Mike Santorelli 

Jamie McGinn – Rickard RakellCorey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie – Nate Thompson – Ryan Garbutt

Defense

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Simon Despres – Sami Vatanen

Washington Capitals Projected Lineup (Per Leftwinglock.com):

Offense

Alex OvechkinNicklas BackstromT.J. Oshie

Andre BurakovskyEvgeny KuznetsovJustin Williams

Jason ChimeraMarcus JohanssonTom Wilson

Daniel WinnikMike RichardsJay Beagle

Defense

Karl AlznerMatt Niskanen

Brooks OrpikDmitry Orlov

Nate SchmidtTaylor Chorney

Ducks:                         John Gibson                    16-8-2 GAA 2.09 SV% .918% (Confirmed)

Capitals:                      Braden Holtby                  40-8-3 GAA 2.24 SV% .922% (Confirmed)

TEAM COMPARISON 

GP RECORD HOME ROAD L10 G/GP GA/GP PP% PK% PIM/GP S/GP SA/GP FO%
65 48-13-4 26-6-2 22-7-2 7-3-0 3.22 2.29 23.8 84.5 8.9 30.7 29.0 49.9
64 37-19-8 21-8-4 16-11-4 10-0-0 2.52 2.28 23.8 86.2 12.9 30.6 27.5 51.4

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