By Michael Walters
Today is the annual Ducks(9-7-4) vs Blackhawks(13-6-2) Black Friday game at 1 PM PT. Chicago has beaten Anaheim four straight times on Black Friday. Last year the Ducks had a two-goal lead, but the Blackhawks scored twice in the final two minutes to tie the game. In overtime, Chicago completed the comeback winning 3-2.
The Ducks will be wearing their orange jerseys today. Anaheim is 0-2-1 this season when competing in orange. The Ducks are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games. For a review visit: Ducks 10 Game Review.
The Ducks are coming off a marathon 14 round shootout loss to the New York Islanders this past Tuesday. Anaheim is 2-1-1 on this home stand so far. The game today against the Blackhawks is the final game at Honda Center this week. The Ducks will hit the road tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks.
Yesterday the Ducks brought Logan Shaw up. He skated on the fourth line and could play tonight. Joseph Cramarossa and Clayton Stoner did not participate in practice yesterday as they both are dealing with lower-body injuries. Sami Vatanen had to leave Tuesday’s game early with an illness, but he is expected to play tonight.
The Ducks are going to need a 60 minute game against the Blackhawks. Any lapses in play could lead to multiple goals for Chicago. The Blackhawks are the league’s best team in the Western Conference. They are second in the conference for goals scored at 62. If there is a weakness for Chicago, it’s their penalty kill which is 68.7% efficient, the league’s worst. Anaheim needs to work the forecheck and draws penalties in this contest.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
The Blackhawks had won three in a row but dropped their last contest 2-1 against the San Jose Sharks. A bigger concern than the loss is the availability of Jonathan Toews today. He suffered an upper-body injury in the second period of the game against San Jose and didn’t return. He also didn’t practice yesterday.
Chicago has continued their winning ways as they are first in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks have won their past four visits to Honda Center. The Ducks haven’t beat the Blackhawks in Anaheim during the regular season since 2013. The Blackhawks score almost three goals(2.90) and almost average 30 shots(29.2) per game. Even if Toews is out, the Blackhawks have plenty of offensive threats. Marian Hossa leads the team with 11 goals. He is followed by Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov who both have eight goals. Patrick Kane and Richard Panik have scored six each.
Chicago Projected Lineup
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