By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(39-23-11) return home to host the Winnipeg Jets(33-34-7). The Ducks are 1-0-0 against the Jets this season.
The Ducks continued their winning ways beating Edmonton on Wednesday night. Couple that win with a San Jose loss and the Ducks are only two points out of first place. Both the Ducks and Sharks have nine games remaining in the season. Edmonton is also tied with Anaheim in terms of points. They were able to rally and beat Colorado last night, but the Ducks do have a game in hand. Rickard Rakell leads the Ducks with his career-high 32 goals. Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg both have 20.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks didn’t get off to a great start against the Oilers but were able to tie the game up late in the first period. The Ducks then took control from that point on. They need to jump on the Jets early especially since they played last night. One concern for the Ducks is the power play that went 0-for-5 against the Oilers and is now at 18.0%, which is 20th in the league. Corey Perry got hot for a few games but has cooled off again. He needs to get it going here in the final weeks of the season to help momentum continue.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup
Jonathan Bernier, 15-7-3, GAA 2.49, SV% .918 (Confirmed)
The Jets lost last night to the Kings 5-2 and are now four points behind them. Both teams are trying to get a final wild card spot, but it’s unlikely to happen especially for the Jets. They are 14 points behind Nashville for the final spot and only have eight games left to play. Patrik Laine leads the team with 34 goals. Mark Scheifele has 29 goals. Blake Wheeler and Nikolaj Ehlers both have 22 goals.
Keys To The Game
The Jets were able get a 2-1 lead on the Kings last night, but couldn’t hang on. One problem for the Jets is their defense. They give up 3.19 goals per game on average which is 28th in the league. They are only 76.2% efficient on the penalty kill, which is 29th in the league. The Jets need to stay out of the penalty box and try to establish a better forecheck throughout the game if they want to win tonight.
Winnipeg’s Projected Lineup
Connor Hellebuyck, 23-19-4, GAA 2.95, SV% .906 (Unconfirmed)
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March 24th, 2017