By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(31-19-10) hit the road to visit the Arizona Coyotes(20-30-7). The Ducks are 3-0-0 in the season series against the Coyotes.
The Ducks are coming off an impressive shutout win over their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. The Ryan Kesler line of Andrew Cogliano and Jakob Silfverberg was reunited and they did a great job of limiting scoring chances for Los Angeles. The Kings managed just 24 shots on goal and the Ducks 17 other attempts. The Ducks only scored once, but that’s all they needed to beat the Ducks. Rickard Rakell leads the team with 22 goals. Ryan Kesler is second in scoring with 19 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has 17 goals. Andrew Cogliano has 11. Anaheim is tied for second place in the Pacific Division with the Edmonton Oilers in terms of points.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks did beat the Kings, but the offense continues to struggle. Randy Carlyle did like the effort from the new line of Ryan Getzlaf, Nick Ritchie, and Ondrej Kase. With the back-to-back scenario, there shouldn’t be many if any changes to the forward lineup. Anaheim’s forwards need to go to the slot and set up in front of the opposing goalie more instead of skating around the perimeter. Bob Murray may have to make a trade in order to help improve that aspect of the Ducks offense.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
Jonathan Bernier 8-4-2, GAA 2.80, SV% .906 (Confirmed)
The Coyotes are having another down season as they sit in last place in the Pacific Division. In the month of February, the Coyotes have alternated wins and losses over the span of eight games. They had gone 0-2-1 against the Ducks, but despite a difficult season they usually come to play against Anaheim. Martin Hanzal leads the team with 16 goals. Tobias Reider has 13 goals and Radim Vrbata has 11 goals.
Keys To The Game
The Coyotes need to get a goal early in this contest. They got behind early in a few of the previous meetings against the Ducks and couldn’t recover. Arizona needs to avoid the penalty box as they are ranked 28th in penalty kill at 76.8% efficiency. They also need to work on not allowing too many shots on goal. They average 33.8 shots against per game.
Arizona’s Projected Lineup
Mike Smith, 15-16-6, GAA 2.87, SV% .917 (Confirmed)
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February 20th, 2017