Preview: Ducks vs Maple Leafs

Photo: Chris Carlson, AP

Photo: Chris Carlson, AP

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(16-11-5) square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs(12-11-7). This is the first meeting between these two teams this season and the first time Frederik Andersen is expected to face his former team. It will also be the first time Randy Carlyle will face Toronto since he was their head coach.

Anaheim Outlook:

The Ducks are 1-2-0 on the current road trip. They played well at the beginning of the games against Dallas and Detroit but ultimately lost those two contests. Their sole victory was of the comeback variety after going down 2-0 early to Boston. Anaheim rallied in that game to win 4-3. The Ducks are tied for second place in the Pacific Division in terms of points at 37. Rickard Rakell is now the scoring leader with 14 goals. Ryan Kesler has scored 12 goals. Andrew Cogliano, Cam Fowler, and Jakob Silfverberg each have eight goals.

Keys To The Game:

The Ducks need to tighten up their play defensively. They have given up 15 goals in their last three contests. They have had issues throughout the season with giving up multiple goals in a short time span. Anaheim will be tested tonight against Toronto who averages almost 34 shots per game(33.9), which is second best in the league. The Ducks need to hit more on defense, pick up coverages, and get in the shooting lanes to help their goalie out. Anaheim will also look to stay out of the sin-bin as their penalty kill hasn’t been playing as well recently.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup

Offense
Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafCorey Perry
Andrew CoglianoRyan KeslerJakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Antoine VermetteOndrej Kase
Joseph Cramarossa  – Stefan Noesen – Logan Shaw

Defense
Cam FowlerSami Vatanen
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Shea Theodore – Kevin Bieksa

In Net
John Gibson (Unconfirmed)

Toronto Outlook

The Maple Leafs have played in some tight contests lately with their last three contests going into overtime and/or a shootout. They lost twice in the shootout, once to San Jose and a second time to Arizona. Toronto won their last game 2-1 in overtime against the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Toronto finds themselves currently in 7th place in the Atlantic Division. Auston Matthews leads all scorers with 14 goals. James van Riemsdyk has 12 goals and Nazem Kadri has 10.

Keys To The Game:

They have played Anaheim well winning eight of the last nine meetings dating back to October of 2009. Toronto will look to get on the scoresheet early and often in this one. In seven of those eight most recent victories, Toronto has scored four or more goals. They have seemed to have Anaheim’s number scoring goals almost at will, which Anaheim has issues with recently this season. Toronto is also second in shots on goal so they will look to pepper the Anaheim net throughout this game.

Toronto’s Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)

Offense
Leo Komarov – Nazem Kadri – Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Mitch Marner
Zach Hyman – Auston Matthews – William Nylander
Matt Martin – Ben Smith – Nikita Soshnikov

Defense
Morgan RiellyNikita Zaitsev
Jake GardinerConnor Carrick
Matt HunwickRoman Polak

In Net
Frederik Andersen (Probable)

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December 19, 2016

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