By Michael Walters
The Anaheim Ducks(31-21-12) host the Columbus Blue Jackets(32-27-5). The game starts at 7:00 PM PT and will be on Prime Ticket locally and AM 830.
It seems like an eternity since the Ducks last game, which was the crazy comeback against the Oilers last Sunday. The Ducks were down 5-3 and Rickard Rakell managed to score twice in the final minute to send the game in overtime. Anaheim did ultimately lose in a shootout but were able to get at least one point from that contest. Rakell earned his first career hat trick.
Yesterday Ducks General Manager discussed the trade deadline in a Q and A session: Hockey Hot Stove. He mentioned the possibility that Patrick Eaves could return this season. John Gibson was removed from the injured reserve and will start tonight. The two new acquisitions Jason Chimera and Chris Kelly are set to likely place on the 4th like tonight. Reto Berra and Kalle Kossila were sent down to San Diego.
Keys To The Game
The last couple of games the Ducks either struggled on offense or on defense. They need to start putting together solid efforts on each side of the puck. Anaheim also needs to start earning two points against non-playoff contending teams as well.
Anaheim’s Projected Lineup:
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The Blue Jackets have 69 points and are in the middle of the playoff race in the Eastern Conference. They are currently holding down the final playoff spot. Artemi Panarin and Josh Anderson led the team with 18 goals each.
Keys To The Game
Columbus has had problem scoring goals lately. In most of their recent games, they have only been scoring 1-2 goals a game. The Blue Jackets needs to get out to a good start because if they get behind by a few goals, then it will be difficult to make a comeback. Columbus also needs to be better at special teams. Their power play is 30th in the league at 15.2% and their penalty kill is 27th at 76.2%.
Columbus’ Projected Lineup:
Artemi Panarin – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cam Atkinson
Thomas Vanek – Alexander Wennberg – Nick Foligno
Sonny Milano – Brandon Dubinsky – Oliver Bjorkstrand
Boone Jenner – Mark Letestu – Matt Calvert
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March 2nd, 2018