By Mike Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(40-23-9) continue their road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs(26-35-11). The Ducks lost to the Maple Leafs 4-0 in their first meeting. This is the second and final meeting of the season.
The Ducks can clinch a playoff spot tonight if they earn at least one point tonight. If the Ducks lose in regulation, then they can still clinch if the Coyotes lose in any manner tonight.
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Keys To The Game:
1. Level of Opponent: The Ducks played two non-playoff teams and played down to their level. Anaheim’s next three games are against teams in similar situations as Winnipeg and Montreal. The Ducks need to elevate their level of play especially against non-playoff teams that only have pride to play for because they can be just as dangerous as teams heading into the playoffs.
2. Score First: Last time the Ducks got down early to Toronto and couldn’t recover getting shutout. The Ducks need to play their game from puck drop and built momentum early in this contest.
1. Offense: Toronto has scored four or more goals in three of their last six games. They have also scored one goal or less in the other three games. It will be interesting to see what team shows up tonight.
2. Shots: The Leafs are 5th in the league with 31.1 shots on net per game. One strategy for them tonight will be to pepper Anaheim’s net minder with traffic in front.
Players To Watch:
1. Jakob Silfverberg: No one on Anaheim’s roster is hotter than him right now. He scored twice in the last game and has six goals in his last five games. The Ryan Kesler line has been playing extremely well over the past several games, but will be without Kesler as he tends to a personal matter back home.
2. Corey Perry: He scored his 30th goal in the last game. He has scored 30 or more goals in his last three NHL seasons and has done it six times total in his career.
1. P.A. Parenteau: He is tied for the Toronto in total points with 37(18G + 19A). He has five points in his last five games.
2. Nazem Kadri: He is tied with Parenteau at 37 points(12G + 25A). He had one of the four goals that Toronto scored against Anaheim in the first meeting.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup (Per):
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