Game 61: Anaheim Faces Big Test In Vegas

Graphic: NHL

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks(29-20-11) continue the road trip against the Vegas Golden Knights (39-15-4). The Ducks are 0-2-1 against the Golden Knights this season. The game starts at 7:00 PM PT and will be on Prime Ticket locally and AM 830.

Anaheim Outlook:

For the second game in a row, the Ducks rallied to win. They got down 2-0 to Chicago and were able to win 3-2 in regulation. In the game against the Wild, Minnesota had a 2-1 lead to start the third period, but the Anaheim was able to rally and win in a shootout. Ryan Kesler did not play in the game against the Wild being listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Kesler will travel to Vegas, but his status is questionable for the game. If he doesn’t play, then it’s likely Derek Grant will play in his spot as he did against the Wild. The Ducks are traveling today so the lineup won’t be known until closer to game time.

Should Anaheim shut down Kesler? Visit our poll and vote: What should Anaheim do with Kesler?

Keys To The Game

The Ducks haven’t beaten Vegas this season. They are going to have to play exceptional defense and the starting goalie is going to have to stand on his head. Vegas is second in the league in goals scored per game. The Henrique line has been on fire lately, but Anaheim is going to need a full 60-minute effort from everyone if they want to earn two points in Sin City.

Anaheim’s Projected Lineup:

Rickard Rakell – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Andrew CoglianoDerek Grant – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick Ritchie – Adam Henrique – Ondrej Kase
Chris Wagner – Antoine Vermette – J.T. Brown

Cam Fowler  – Josh Manson
Francois Beauchemin – Hampus Lindholm
Marcus Pettersson – Brandon Montour

In Net
John Gibson, 21-15-6, GAA 2.55, SV% .924 (Probable)

Vegas’s Outlook:

Vegas continues to lead the way in the league with 82 points. The Golden Knights are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games. They are 22-4-2 at home this season. William Karlsson leads the team with 30 goals. Vegas also has three 20 goal scorers James Neal(24), Erik Haula(22), and Jon Marchessault(21).

Keys To The Game

Vegas has been winning with their second best offense in the league which averages 3.45 goals per game. The ability to roll four lines that can score is what causes their opponents to have matchup problems. As long as they continue with their balanced attack they should win the Pacific Division and possibly be the number one seed come playoff time in the Western Conference.

Vegas’s  Projected Lineup:

Reilly Smith – William KarlssonJon Marchessault
David PerronErik HaulaJames Neal
Brendan LeipsicCody Eakin – Alex Tuch
Tomas NosekPierre-Edouard Bellemare – Ryan Carpenter

Brayden McNabbNate Schmidt
Deryk EngellandLuca Sbisa
Colin MillerBrad Hunt

In Net
Marc-Andre Fleury, 19-6-2, GAA 2.06, SV% .932 (Confirmed)

Want to start your sports media career? Then Join The Puck Network!

DucksNPucks is part of The Puck Network, which covers the entire NHL. There are openings to cover your favorite team(s) and earn school credits! If you are interested, then apply by filling out the form here: Join Our Team. What are you waiting for? Start your sports media career TODAY!

February 19th, 2017