By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(12-9-5) return to Honda Center to face the Carolina Hurricanes(10-10-5). The teams met once before this season with the Ducks winning 4-2 in Carolina.
The Ducks return home after a 1-1-1 road trip to Western Canada. Anaheim played well against the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers but then were blown out by the Calgary Flames. The Ducks currently have 29 points and are in fourth place in the Pacific Division. Ryan Kesler leads the team with 11 goals. The rest of the scoring leaders include Rickard Rakell who has 10 goals, Jakob Silfverberg with eight goals and Andrew Cogliano with seven.
Keys To The Game
With the disastrous outing versus the Calgary Flames, the Ducks will look to rebound in this game. At times this season when Anaheim gets down by one goal, then they tend to give up multiple goals, which was the case in the second period against Calgary. The Ducks gave up one goal after another five times in that game and never recovered. Tonight the Ducks face the Hurricanes and will need to get on the board right away and get the confidence back early in this game. If Anaheim is going to rebound in this game, then they will likely have to do it during 5-on-5 play. Carolina has the best penalty kill in the league at 91.3%.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Unconfirmed)
The Hurricanes had lost three games in a row but are coming off 1-0 shutout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Cam Ward stopped all 30 shots he faced and eventually Carolina won in overtime. Carolina sits at 7th place in the Metropolitan Division with a .500 record. Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask are tied for the team lead in goals with nine each. Viktor Stalberg has seven goals.
The Hurricanes do well on special teams. Their power play is 18.7% efficient, which is 12th in the league. Their penalty kill is 91.3% efficient, which is the best in the NHL. They have scored 58 goals this season, but have given up 65. The key for Carolina is to play better 5-on-5 and try to get a lead early in this game. The Hurricanes average just under 30 shots(29.8) per game so they will look to pepper the Anaheim net to create scoring chances.
Carolina Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)
Cam Ward (Probable)
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