PREVIEW: Ducks Face The Blues

ANAvsSTL

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(37-20-9) finish their brief road trip against the St. Louis Blues(39-20-9). The Ducks have played the Blues twice and split the first two games. Tonight is the third and final regular season meeting. The game tonight starts at 5PM.

Keys To The Game:

Ducks

1. 60 Minute Game: The Ducks started the game against the Avalanche fine, but halfway through the first period Colorado carried the play for most of the rest of the game going forward. The absence of Sami Vatanen didn’t help especially in the second period when Anaheim gave up several odd man rushes.

2. To The Net: The Ducks had plenty of shots against Colorado on Wednesday, but they was hardly any traffic in front of the net. The Ducks need to get back to crashing the net and getting to the loose rebounds.

Blues

1. Offense: The Blues have averaged almost four goals a game in their last four contests. If they can score three to four goals, then they will put themselves in a good position to win.

2. Turnovers: The Blues have burned the Ducks in the past two meetings by causing turnovers and creating odd man rushes. If they pick the right moments, then they will be to get quality scoring chances.

Players To Watch:

Ducks

1. Nick Ritchie: He hasn’t scored a goal yet at the NHL level while with Anaheim in 23 games. Tonight would be a great night for him to get his first.

2. Jamie McGinn: He was tied for the team lead in shots last game with four. He was one of the few players that went to the net and tried to make plays.

Blues

1. Vladimir Tarasenko: He leads the Blues with 56 points(30G + 26A). He leads the team with 12 power play goals and five game winning goals. He is always a threat to score when he is on the ice.

2. David Backes: He is tied for second in goals scored with 17. He has four points in his last four games.

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Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup: (Per Stephens)

Sami Vatanen and Nate Thompson both missed practice yesterday. Bruce Boudreau stated that Vatanen will not play. Shawn Horcoff is also eligible to play, but it doesn’t appear he will be in the lineup.

Offense

David Perron – Ryan Getzlaf – Ryan Garbutt

Jamie McGinn – Rickard RakellCorey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg

Nick Ritchie – Nate Thompson – Mike Santorelli 

Defense

Cam FowlerKevin Bieksa

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson

Simon Despres – Korbinian Holzer

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

Offense

Jaden SchwartzJori LehteraVladimir Tarasenko

Robby FabbriPaul StastnyTroy Brouwer

Patrik BerglundDavid BackesDmitrij Jaskin

Scottie UpshallKyle BrodziakRyan Reaves

Defense

Jay BouwmeesterAlex Pietrangelo

Carl GunnarssonKevin Shattenkirk

Joel EdmundsonColton Parayko

Ducks:                          Frederik Andersen                        18-8-6 GAA 2.21 SV% .922% (Confirmed)

Blues:                           Jake Allen                                        22-13-3 GAA 2.24 SV% .923% (Confirmed)

TEAM COMPARISON 

GP RECORD HOME ROAD L10 G/GP GA/GP PP% PK% PIM/GP S/GP SA/GP FO%
66 37-20-9 21-8-5 16-12-4 8-1-1 2.46 2.27 23.1 86.6 12.8 30.6 27.5 51.5
68 39-20-9 20-11-4 19-9-5 7-3-0 2.47 2.38 22.4 86.4 10.5 29.9 30.0 50.8

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