By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(10-8-4) host the Montreal Canadiens(16-4-2). This is the first meeting between the teams this season. Since the 2013-14 season, Montreal has posted a 1-6-2 road record against all three California teams. Their only win was against Anaheim in a shootout on March 15, 2014, during that span.
The Anaheim Ducks are coming off a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The Ducks got down early in the contest, but we able to rally for the win. It’s only the second time this season that Anaheim has won a game after being scored on first(2-7-3). Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal, which was much needed as he hadn’t scored in the month of November.
Over the weekend the Ducks placed Joseph Cramarossa and Clayton Stoner on the injury reserve. It is not clear when either will return. Both are dealing with lower-body injuries. Anaheim sent Shea Theodore and Chris Wagner to San Diego to play in one game against the Ontario Reign on Sunday. Wagner had a great game scoring a goal and adding two assists in the Gulls victory. The Gulls have now won six in a row. Both were recalled yesterday to Anaheim.
Keys To The Game
The magic number continues to be three for Anaheim. With the win against San Jose, Anaheim is 10-0-0 when scoring three goals or more. That will be a difficult task as Carey Price is expected to start in net for Montreal. His goals-against against is only 1.66, but he has given up more than three goals on three separate occasions this season in 15 games. The Ducks also need to avoid the penalty box tonight. Montreal’s power play is 22.4% efficient which is fifth best in the NHL.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
The Canadiens enter this contest on a two-game winning streak. They beat Carolina 2-1 and more recently edged the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in overtime. Montreal currently sits in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 16-4-2 record and are also first in the eastern conference. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games. Alex Galchenyuk leads the team with nine goals and 22 points. Newly acquired Shea Weber has eight goals and 18 points. Alexander Radulov also has 18 points(4 goals + 14 assists).
Keys To The Game
Speed and skill are the name of the game for Montreal. The Canadiens are at their best when playing a north and south game. They want to push the puck as much as possible and not get caught in a grinding physical game. They thrive on their passing and transition game, which is helping them outscore their opponents by a +19 margin this season, which is second-best in the NHL. They will also look to speed to push the game and draw penalties from Anaheim. Montreal has the fifth-best power play in the league.
Projected Lines (Montreal Website)
Alexander Radulov – Alex Galchenyuk – Paul Byron
Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen – David Desharnais – Andrew Shaw
Phillip Danault – Torrey Mitchell – Daniel Carr/Chris Terry
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November 29, 2016