Preview: Ducks vs Predators

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.

Anaheim Outlook:

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.

Projected Lineup

Offense
Nick RitchieRyan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano –  Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Ryan Garbutt – Antoine Vermette  – Chris Wagner
Joseph Cramarossa – Michael Sgarbossa – Jared Boll

Defense
Cam Fowler – Sami Vatanen
Clayton Stoner  – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

In Net:
John Gibson (Probable)

Nashville Outlook

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 poisoningRyan 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)

Offense
Calle JarnkrokRyan JohansenJames Neal
Filip ForsbergMike FisherCraig Smith
Colin WilsonMike RibeiroViktor Arvidsson
Cody BassColton SissonsKevin Fiala

Defense
Roman JosiP.K. Subban
Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis
Matt CarleYannick Weber

In Net:
Pekka Rinne (Probable)

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