By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(22-13-8) go on a short road trip and play the Colorado Avalanche tonight(13-25-1). This is the first meeting between these teams this season.
The Ducks completed a five-game homestand in which Anaheim went 4-1-0. John Gibson had two shutout victories. Anaheim did make a trade right after their 2-0 win over Dallas. The Ducks traded a 7th round 2018 pick to Toronto for goalie Jhonas Enroth. For more read: Anaheim Acquires Enroth. The Ducks also recalled Stefan Noesen and Shea Theodore. Additionally, Brandon Montour was sent back to San Diego. Anaheim will go on a short road trip to Colorado and then Arizona before returning back home. At yesterday’s practice, Ryan Getzlaf was a full participant, but he is still a game-time decision for tonight.
Anaheim is tied for first place in the Pacific Division with 52 points. Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell lead the team with 16 goals this season. Jakob Silfverberg has 11 goals. Andrew Cogliano has 10 goals.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks have now played four games in a row with solid defensive play only giving up four goals. Where Anaheim has struggled lately has been the power play. The Ducks did score a power play goal in their last game, but they are 1-for-14 over their last four games without Getzlaf. Colorado does struggle on the penalty kill with a 77.8% efficient which is 25th in the league. Colorado also gives up 32.4 shots on net to their opponents which is 6th highest in the NHL. The Ducks should look to fire the puck on net as much as possible and work the forecheck to draw penalties to get power play chances.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
John Gibson 16-10-7, GAA 2.38, SV% .918 (Unconfirmed)
The Avalanche are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Islanders. Colorado lost their previous five games in a row. The Avalanche are currently in last place in the Central Division and Western Conference. With the trade deadline approaching, there has been plenty of talk about possible trades involving Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog. With the way Colorado’s season is shaping up, they are a team to watch for making some moves in the next month or so. Duchene leads the team with 13 goals. Nathan MacKinnon has 10 goals and Rene Bourque has nine.
Keys To The Game
The Avalanche are going to need to rely on their face-off game as they win 53.1% of their draws. Colorado needs to try to win as many draws and maintain possession in this game as much as possible. The Avalanche give up over three goals(3.31) per game and need to limit the Ducks chances. They need to create turnovers and get in the shooting lanes in this game. If the Avalanche can get on the board early, then they increase their chances in this contest.
Avalanche Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)
Semyon Varlamov 6-14-0, 3.33 GAA, .901 SV% (Unconfirmed)
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January 12, 2016