By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(26-14-9) travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets(22-23-4). This is the first meeting between the teams this season.
The Ducks lost their last game to the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Anaheim looked good after two periods with a 3-2 lead, but they slipped in the first five minutes of the third period by giving up three goals. To add insult to injury, John Gibson left the game with an upper-body injury. He did practice on Sunday, but it’s not clear if he still start tonight. Jakob Silfverberg is also out with an upper-body injury and is not with the team on this trip. Rickard Rakell leads the team with 19 goals this season. Ryan Kesler has scored 18 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 13 goals and Nick Ritchie has 11 goals.
Keys To The Game
It has been a while, but the Ducks gave up multiple goals in a short time span in the third period against the Wild. The Ducks have been playing solid defense since the beginning of the year. Anaheim has scored on the power play in their last three contests. The Ducks will look to get on the forecheck early and draw penalties on the Jets. Winnipeg has one of the worst penalty killing units ranking 26th in the league at 77.4%.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
John Gibson 19-10-8, GAA 2.27, SV% .921 (Unconfirmed)
The Jets have won their last two games beating the Coyotes 6-3 and Blues 5-3. The Jets are currently in fourth place in the Central Division with 48 points in a battle for one of the wild-card spots in the Western Conference. They will be without Patrik Laine(concussion) and Drew Miller(lower-body injury) tonight. Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine lead the team with 21 goals. Nikolaj Ehlers has 16 goals and Blake Wheeler has 15.
Keys To The Game
Even without one of their top scorers, Winnipeg has still been able to score. However, they have been getting scored on giving up 25 goals in their last six games. The Jets should be able to generate offense, but they need to focus on their defense in this contest. They average over 30 shots(30.6) against per game and have the 26th ranked penalty kill. They need to get in the shooting lanes and block as many Anaheim shots as possible. Also if they can play disciplined hockey and stay out of the sin bin, then they have a good chance to earn two points tonight.
Winnipeg’s Projected Lineup (Per Dailyfaceoff.com)
Ondrej Pavelec 2-0-0, GAA 3.03, SV% .936 (Probable)
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January 23, 2017