By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(20-12-8) are at home tonight to face the Arizona Coyotes(11-22-5). The Ducks faced the Coyotes once this season, beating them 5-1 back in November.
The Ducks have put two wins together beating Philadelphia and Detroit on this homestand. Anaheim has been without their captain Ryan Getzlaf all week as he sustained a lower-body injury and was unable to finish the game against Philadelphia. He didn’t play in the game against Detriot and hasn’t practiced at all this week. He will try to skate this morning and see if he can go. Based on yesterday’s practice report there is a chance Korbinian Holzer might play forward if Getzlaf is again scratched.
Rickard Rakell leads the team with 16 goals this season. Ryan Kesler has scored 15 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 11 goals. Andrew Cogliano, Cam Fowler, and Nick Ritchie each have nine goals. The Ducks are tied for first in the Pacific Division with the San Jose Sharks in terms of points(48).
Keys To The Game
After giving up six goals in the first meeting against Detroit, the Anaheim defense came to play Wednesday night. The Ducks allowed just 23 shots on net and John Gibson earned the shutout. Detroit did appear to score, but the goal was reversed because replay showed Gibson being pushed into the net along with the puck by a Detroit player. If the Ducks can play the same type of game tonight against the Coyotes, then they will be in good shape. The Ducks do need to keep an eye on Max Domi and Anthony Duclair, who both have had recent success scoring against Anaheim.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
Joseph Cramarossa – Rickard Rakell – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Antoine Vermette – Ondrej Kase
Logan Shaw – Chris Wagner – Jared Boll / Korbinian Holzer
John Gibson 14-9-7, GAA 2.50, SV% .913 (Unconfirmed)
The Coyotes have had a rough time lately dropping their last eight games in a row. Four of the games were close contests and four were not, including their last loss of 3-0 to Vancouver. Arizona finds themselves in dead last in the Pacific Division with just 27 points. Radim Vrbata leads the team with nine goals. Tobias Rieder and Martin Hanzal both have eight goals. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has seven.
Keys To The Game
The Coyotes need to score first and get some momentum on their side early in this game. They only average 2.08 goals per game, which ranks them 29th just above Colorado. Arizona has lost some close battles recently and getting a goal early would help with some positive vibes. A big concern for them this season has been their special teams. Arizona is 14.0% efficient on the power play, which is 26th in the league. They kill only 75.0% of their opponent’s power plays which is 28th in the league. The Coyotes have played the Ducks well in recent games so they will look to use that experience to try to get back in the win column.
Arizona’s Projected Lineup
Mike Smith, 7-11-4, 2.83 GAA, .919 SV% (Unconfirmed)
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January 6, 2017