By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(2-3-2) return home to take on the Nashville Predators(2-3-0) in a playoff re-matchup of last season. The game starts at 7:30 PM PT. The Ducks were 1-2-0 in the regular season series last year.
The Ducks lost last night in overtime to the San Jose Sharks 2-1. The Ducks were dominant again in the face-off circle winning 61% of the draws. The Sharks had the shot advantage 36 to 20. Anaheim might be without Ryan Getzlaf and Jonathan Bernier tonight. Getzlaf took a puck off his left hand/forearm and had to leave the contest. According to Randy Carlyle, Bernier suffered a muscle injury. Hopefully, their status is updated today.
The Ducks are going to need to find a way to generate more offense and shots on net tonight. If Getzlaf can’t go tonight, then the supporting cast of players is going to need to step it up. Chris Wagner did score his second goal of the season last night, but other players need to contribute as well. The Ducks have earned five out of a possible six points in their last three contests, but they need to maintain consistency. The second period has been an issue again this season, especially in regards to taking penalties.
John Gibson (Probable)
The Predators haven’t played since Saturday when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1. The team had to deal with several players experiencing food poisoning. Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith left during last Friday’s game against Detroit and didn’t return. Johansen played Saturday against the Penguins, but Smith, Mike Fisher and goaltender Pekka Rinne all sat out. Five players from their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals had to be called up and fill in against Pittsburgh.
Nashville has been excellent on the power play this season. They are 47.4% efficient with the extra man, which is only second to Columbus on the season. Regardless if they have their full lineup or not tonight, they will look to establish the forecheck early and get Anaheim to draw penalties. They rank 9th in the league with shots on goal averaging 30.8 per game. They haven’t been a great team during 5-on-5 play, but they will likely pepper the Anaheim net in this contest.
Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)
Pekka Rinne (Probable)
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