By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(21-12-8) face their old coach Bruce Boudreau tonight. This is the first meeting between the Ducks and Wild tonight this season.
The Ducks have won three games in a row, including their first 3-on-3 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes this past Friday. Ryan Getzlaf didn’t play in hat contest and the Ducks are now 4-1-0 this season without their Captain. According to head coach Randy Carlyle, Getzlaf will not play tonight. Anaheim is in first place in the Pacific Division with 50 points. John Gibson will get the start in net.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks have played better defensively in their last two games, but those contests were against Detroit and Arizona. Tonight they will be tested against the red-hot Wild team. Anaheim will need to score first as the Wild are one of the best defensive teams in the league. The Ducks have tightened things up on defense so this could be a low scoring affair. The Ducks will look to control the game with the faceoffs. Anaheim wins 55.6% which is the best in the league.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
The Wild had a 12 game winning streak in the month of December, which was ended by the Blue Jackets who went on their own streak of 16 wins. Since then the Wild played San Jose and Los Angeles. They beat the Sharks 5-4 and lost to the Kings 4-3 in overtime. The Wild currently have 53 points with a record of 24-9-5 and are in second place in the Central division. Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal lead the team with 13 goals. Mikko Koivu has 12 goals and Mikael Granlund has 10 goals.
Keys To The Game
One of the biggest strengths is the Wild’s goal differential. They average 3.16 goals per game, which is 4th best in the league. They also give up 2.16 goals against per game on average, which is 2nd best in the league. Overall they are +13 on the season, which is 3rd best in the Western Conference. Minnesota is ranked 5th on the penalty kill at 85.5%. The Wild give up over 30 shots(30.7) per game against, so they will look to limit Anaheim’s shot attempts tonight.
Minnesota’s Projected Lineup (Per Dailyfaceoff.com)
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January 8, 2017