By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(24-13-9) host the Tampa Bay Lightning(21-20-4) tonight. This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams.
The Ducks had rattled three wins off in a row before losing their last game in overtime to the St. Louis Blues. Anaheim played another solid defensive game but again couldn’t get the two points in overtime. The Ducks are 1-8 in overtime and 2-1 in shootouts. Ryan Kesler and Rickard Rakell lead the team with 18 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 12 goals. Andrew Cogliano and Nick Ritchie both have 10 goals. Anaheim is in first place in the Pacific Division with 56 points.
Keys To The Game
Tampa Bay played last night, so the Ducks scoring first would be beneficial. Anaheim had continued to play solid defense. Despite the return of Getzlaf, the Ducks are still struggling on the power play. They have just scored once with the extra man in their last seven games going 1-for-20. The power play is still in the top ten in the league(currently 9th), but it would be good if they could break the recent slump.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
John Gibson 17-10-8, GAA 2.33, SV% .920 (Unconfirmed)
Tampa Bay Outlook
The Lightning just beat Los Angeles last night 2-1. It’s just their second win in their last seven games. Tampa Bay has had a rough season with injuries and find themselves in a much different position as opposed to last season. Currently, the Lightning are in 6th place in the Atlantic Division, but just a few points out of a playoff spot. Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 17 goals. Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson, and Alex Killorn each have 13 goals.
Key’s To The Game
Tampa Bay has one of the best power plays at 23.3% which is 4th best in the league. They will look to sustain a solid forward and draw penalties to get on the power play. The Lightning will also look to avoid the penalty box, as their penalty kill is just over 80.3% which is 20th in the league. The Lightning average 2.73 goals per game, but they also give up 2.91. Anaheim’s games have been on the lower scoring side lately, but this game could possibly see some goals scored than normal lately.
Tampa Bay’s Projected Lineup
Ondrej Palat – Vladislav Namestnikov – Nikita Kucherov
Alex Killorn – Tyler Johnson – Erik Condra
Brian Boyle – Valtteri Filppula – Jonathan Drouin
Michael Bournival – Cedric Paquette – Gabriel Dumont
Andrei Vasilevskiy, 10-10-2, 2.93 GAA, .906 SV% (Unconfirmed)
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January 17, 2017