PREVIEW: Pacific Showdown Between Anaheim and San Jose

Graphic: NHL.com

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(37-23-11) travel to San Jose to face the first place Sharks(42-21-7). The Ducks are 2-0-2 against the Sharks this season.

Anaheim Outlook:

The Ducks put forth another solid effort last night against the Buffalo Sabres but ended up losing in a shootout. The Sabres don’t a lucky bounce on their only goal of the game. Anaheim could have easily won the game in regulation if not for the play of Anders Nilsson. The Ducks are in second place in the Pacific Division with Calgary right behind them by one point. Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks with his career-high 31 goals. Ryan Kesler has 20 and Jakob Silfverberg has 19.

Keys To The Game

The Ducks played last night and went all the way to a shootout that lasted 10 rounds. Anaheim needs to score first and get off to a good start after last night’s drawn-out contest. The Ducks had a few chances to put Buffalo away, but couldn’t do it. The Ducks can’t afford to miss any scoring chances against the first place Sharks. Anaheim is six points behind San Jose in the standings, but the Sharks do have a game in hand. This is a big four-point night for Anaheim and it’s the final meeting of the season against San Jose.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup

Offense
Patrick Eaves – Ryan Getzlaf – Rickard Rakell
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick RitchieAntoine Vermette – Corey Perry
Chris Wagner – Nate Thompson – Logan Shaw

Defense
Cam Fowler – Kevin Bieksa
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Sami Vatanen – Brandon Montour

In Net
Jonathan Bernier, 14-7-3, GAA 2.54, SV% .914 (Confirmed)

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San Jose Outlook:

The Sharks continue to roll and remain in first place in the Pacific Division. They had won four of their last fives games until losing to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. San Jose is six points ahead of Anaheim and has one game in hand as well. Joe Pavelski leads the team with 28 goals. Brent Burns is right behind him with 27. Logan Couture has 24 goals and Patrick Marleau has 23.

Keys To The Game

The Sharks average 2.76 goals per game and if they can get three then they will be in a good position to win tonight. They haven’t been doing as well on the power play at only 16.6% efficiency, which is 25th in the league. Their defense is still strong holding opponents to just 2.31 goals per game. Their penalty killing unit is performing well at 81.6% efficiency. They will look to slow down the Ducks in order to widen their first-place lead.

San Jose’s Projected Lineup

Offense
Joe PavelskiJoe ThorntonJannik Hansen
Patrick MarleauLogan CoutureJoel Ward
Mikkel BoedkerTomas HertlJoonas Donskoi
Marcus SorensenChris TierneyMicheal Haley

Defense
Paul MartinBrent Burns
Marc-Edouard VlasicJustin Braun
Brenden DillonDylan DeMelo

In Net
Martin Jones, 32-17-6, GAA 2.25, SV% .916 (Confirmed)

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March 18th, 2017

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