The Anaheim Ducks next stop on this long road trip is the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa Bay. The Lightning are trying to fight their way into the playoff race just like the Ducks and here are some 5 things to keep an eye on tonight:
1. Battle of two extremely hot goalies:
Hiller was named NHL’s First Star of the Week last week going 3-0-1 with a sub one GAA and stellar save percentage. But we all know how hot he has been since the beginning of January. Hiller will be a bit lucky tonight because Tampa Bay will be missing one of its best players in Vincent Lecavalier. Meanwhile in Tampa, goalie Mathieu Garon is also smoking hot right now. Garon is 7-2-2 with a 2.43 GAA in his last 11 outings. He also has been very good against the Ducks in his career, 5-1-0 with a 1.63 GAA in his last six outings agains Anaheim.
2. Steven Stamkos is pretty good:
Not much I can say about Steven Stamkos besides he is the best scorer in the game right now. This past Saturday, he scored his league-leading 40th goal of the season. That made him the first player in Tampa Bay history to reach that total in three consecutive season.
3. Teemu Selanne scoring streak:
Teemu Selanne scored his 2oth goal of the season on Sunday in Sunrise, Florida. With that goal, he became the oldest player to reach 20 goals in a season since Boston’s Johnny Bucyk in 1976-77. Oh, he also passed a guy by the name of Brendan Shanahan for 12th all-time in goal scoring, I don’t know if you’ve heard of him or not.
4. DSP reportedly making a return:
According to the Anaheim Ducks twitter, Boudreau has said the rookie Devante Smith-Pelly will make his return tonight against the Lightning. This will be his first game with the Ducks since December 8th. He was hurt playing for Team Canada during the World Juniors. We’ll see how he does in his second stint back with the big club after his rehab assignment.
5. Important Points:
This time of year, every point is important. Especially for teams in the positions that the Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning are in. The Lightning are sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, 6 points out of a playoff spot. Meanwhile, the Ducks are still 13th in the West and still 5 points out of a playoff spot. Tampa has a chance to catch up a bit with 2 of the 3 teams directly ahead of them playing tonight. The Ducks also have a chance with Dallas and Calgary playing tonight, also Los Angeles and Phoenix face off in the Jobing.com Arena. This should be another intense game for the Ducks so keep you seat belts on.
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