By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(0-2-0) face the New York Islanders(0-2-0) at 3PM PT. The Ducks lost the season series last year 0-2-0.
The Ducks are still looking for their first win after dropping their first two games against Dallas and Pittsburgh. Emerson Etem‘s gear finally arrived in Pittsburgh yesterday. He took part in the pre-game skate but did not play. He could see action tonight, but because of the back-to-back scenario, any lineup changes will likely not be known until to just prior to puck drop.
Anaheim improved in their second game against Pittsburgh scoring on the power play, dominating in the face-off circle, and generating plenty of good scoring chances. The Ducks have started both their games with good energy, solid forechecking, and speed. They need to work on carrying that play over for the rest of the game. They also need to clear out the opposing forwards around their net. Most of the goals scored on Anaheim have been in and around their goalie’s crease.
John Gibson (Unconfirmed)
New York Outlook:
New York’s Mathew Barzal made his NHL debut against the Washington Capitals yesterday. The 19-year-old was the Islander’s first pick in the 2015 NHL draft. He set career highs in goals (27), assists (61) and points (88) in 58 total games with the Seattle Thunderbirds last season. He is a solid playmaker, quick skater, and has a good hockey IQ. His progression will be one to watch as the season moves along.
The Islanders will play in their home opener tonight looking for their first win. Like the Ducks, the Islanders have dropped their first two games as well and have also been outscored seven to four through two games. New York will need to get more shots on net as they are toward the bottom of the league(25th overall) averaging 25 shots on goal per game. The Islanders give up over 30 shots a game(33.5) as does Anaheim. Despite both teams playing in the second of back-to-back contests, this game could be another track meet like the Ducks game last night against the Penguins which saw 81 combined shots on goal.
Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)
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