PREVIEW: Ducks Battle The Maple Leafs

ANAvsTOR

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:

Ducks

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.

Maple Leafs

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:

Ducks

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.

Maple Leafs

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.

Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup(Per Eric Stephens of OCR):
The Ducks recalled Shea Theodore yesterday, but he will not play tonight. Sami Vatanen and Chris Stewart joined the team at practice today, but both will also not play. It appears like they are both close to getting back in a game.
Ryan Kesler went home to address a personal matter and it is not clear when he will return to the team. Shawn Horcoff will play in his spot and Nate Thompson will play center on the fourth line.
Simon Despres took a hit in Anaheim’s last game and is headed back home to be re-evaluated. Clayton Stoner will play tonight.

Offense

Jamie McGinn – Ryan Getzlaf – Brandon Pirri 

Nick Ritchie – Rickard RakellCorey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Shawn Horcoff – Jakob Silfverberg

Ryan Garbutt – Nate Thompson – Mike Santorelli

Defense

Cam Fowler – Korbinian Holzer 

Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson

Clayton Stoner – Kevin Bieksa

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup (Per Leftwinglock.com):

Offense

Milan MichalekNazem Kadri – Michael Garbner

Zach HymanWilliam NylanderP.A. Parenteau

Josh LeivoTyler BozakConnor Brown

Colin GreeningBrooks LaichBrad Boyes

Defense

Martin MarincinMorgan Rielly

Jake GardinerSam Carrick

Rinat ValievFrank Corrado

Ducks:                           Frederik Andersen                              20-9-6 GAA 2.17 SV% .924% (Confirmed)

Maple Leafs:                  Garret Sparks                                       5-4-1 GAA 2.51 SV% .904% (Confirmed)

TEAM COMPARISON 

GP RECORD HOME ROAD L10 G/GP GA/GP PP% PK% PIM/GP S/GP SA/GP FO%
72 40-23-9 23-9-5 17-14-4 5-4-1 2.53 2.28 23.2 87.4 12.4 30.5 27.5 51.8
72 26-35-11 13-14-9 13-21-2 5-4-1 2.33 2.82 14.2 81.2 9.2 31.1 30.1 51.0

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