By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks have advanced to Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and will face Edmonton starting tonight!
The Ducks had a week off to rest and get ready for Round 2, while Edmonton had to finish off San Jose in six games. According to Randy Carlyle, Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, and Sami Vatanen are all available tonight to play. It looks like Fowler and Lindholm are the more likely ones to get the start tonight. Vatanen appears to still be a little banged up with an upper-body injury.
Keys To The Game
The Ducks will focus on shutting down the Connor McDavid line tonight. Look for the Oilers to make quick line changes to keep the McDavid line away from the Ryan Kesler line. Anaheim needs to also improve on their penalty kill, which was an abysmal 62.5% in the first round. The Ducks were good on the power play at 23.1% efficiency which was fourth best in Round 1. This game and series could come down to a battle of the special teams.
Anaheim Projected Lineup
John Gibson (Probable)
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The Oilers were able to take out the San Jose Sharks, who had made it to the Stanley Cup Final last season. The Oilers played well in five out of six of the games. The Connor McDavid got the job done in Round 1, but the Oilers are going to need help offensively from all their lines if they want to win this series.
Keys To The Game
The Oilers averaged two goals per game, which was 13th among the 16 first round teams. They are going to need to score more goals per game if they want to win this series. They did decent on the penalty kill, but their power play struggled at 12.5% efficiency. The Oilers don’t have home ice advantage in series but look for them to try to do quick line changes to keep McDavid away from the Kesler line. The Oilers will also look to their speed in the neutral zone to create scoring opportunities.
Edmonton Projected Lineup
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Anton Slepyshev
Cam Talbot (Probable)
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April 26th, 2017