By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(25-14-9) host the Colorado Avalanche(13-31-2) tonight. The Ducks are 2-0-0 against the Avalanche this season.
The Ducks come out of the All-Star Break just one point out of first place in the Pacific Division. The San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers are currently tied for first. Anaheim received some good news yesterday when Jakob Silfverberg practiced in full and Nate Thompson rejoined the team from San Diego. It’s not clear if either will play tonight. Rakell leads the team with 20 goals. Ryan Kesler is second in scoring with 18 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 12 goals and Nick Ritchie has 11. Andrew Cogliano and Cam Fowler both have 10 goals.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks are looking to get back on track after losing 4-0 to Edmonton just before the All-Star break. Anaheim had been more consistent on the power play and has been holding their opponents to a few goals a game. The Ducks should be able to sustain a solid forecheck, create opportunities, and draw penalties against the Avalanche tonight. The Ducks should be able to score a few times as Colorado does give up the most goals against in the NHL at 3.37 per game.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
John Gibson 19-11-8, GAA 2.32, SV% .919 (Unconfirmed)
The Avalanche are on a big slide having lost seven in a row. Two of those losses were to the Ducks. Colorado is currently in last place in the Central Division. Colorado learned that Semyon Varlamov is done for the season following hip surgery to repair his injured groin. The Avalanche will have to move forward with Calvin Pickard and Spencer Martin. Pickard will get the start tonight.
Key’s To The Game
Colorado got the first goal in the last game against the Ducks but wasn’t able to hang on for the win. It was an unusual game with a 45-minute glass delay, which shouldn’t be a factor tonight. The Avalanche just need to get back to basics and play a 60-minute game. Despite being on a big losing streak, Colorado was in most of the games and nearly beat Anaheim in the last meeting. If the Avalanche can build momentum early, then may have a chance to end their losing streak.
Avalanche Projected Lineup (Dailyfaceoff.com)
Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Blake Comeau – Matt Duchene – Rene Bourque
Matthew Nieto – Carl Soderberg – Jarome Iginla
Joe Colborne – John Mitchell – Mikhail Grigorenko
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January 31, 2017