The Anaheim Ducks look to continue their two game win streak versus the New York Rangers in thursday’s home opener. The Ducks had a successful road trip to start the season going 2-1-0 after victories over Minnesota and Winnipeg. The Ducks are ready to roll out the red carpet for this game. They will also be raising the Pacific Division Champs banner as well.
A quick glance from Ducks.nhl.com describing tonights festivities, “The Ducks and Honda Center have put together a fantastic night to show off the new 20 million dollar expansion and upgrades at the Honda Center. Ducks fans are encouraged to arrive early to take part in the Ducks Red Carpet presented by HONDA, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Players will be arriving in a variety of HONDA vehicles and interacting with fans as they walk the red carpet through the new entry plaza. Wild Wing and the Power Players will be on hand to pass out Ducks gifts and special autographed items to fans. The Honda Center will debut The Grand Terrace and the new Anaheim Ducks Team Store Powered by Reebok in conjunction with Anaheim Ducks Opening Night. The Grand Terrace Project marks the largest single upgrade in Honda Center’s 20-year history. The 15,000 square foot indoor/outdoor entertainment space features more than 100 feet of bar space, upscale decor, unique menu options, outdoor fire pits and will offer service of the highest degree. Located directly beneath The Grand Terrace is the all-new Anaheim Ducks Team Store Powered by Reebok and the plaza is flanked by two state-of-the-art Daktronics screens measuring 15 feet by 25 feet. The new team store is more than three times the size of the store’s previous location and will carry items and styles for every taste and budget.”
While upgrades to the Honda Center are really nice what we really want to see is the Ducks win. They will be hosting the NY Rangers who are coming off an embarrassing drubbing by The San Jose Sharks. In that game the Rangers lost 9-2, as San Jose received 4 goals from rookie scoring sensation Tomas Hertl who now has 6 on the year. The Sharks put 5 goals past Martin Biron and another 4 past Henrik Lundquist. The Rangers record sits at 1-2-0 on the year. Their leading goal scorer is Brad Richards while the co-assist leaders are Rick Nash and Derek Stepan. The Rangers most likely will be missing Rick Nash, who will most likely miss the game with a concussion, after being on the receiving end of Douglass Murray’s elbow. Also Captain Ryan Callahan is back to game action after missing time in the off-season for shoulder surgery and being knocked out of the previous game versus the Kings for some dental work. Meanwhile the Ducks will be without Kyle Pamieri (lower body) who was injured during the win in Winnipeg and possibly Matt Belesky. Hometown favorite Emerson Etem, who has practiced twice this week, looks to make his season debut for the Ducks. Boy oh boy can the Ducks use his presence on the penalty kill. The Ducks obviously need the first line to step up and dominate tonight.
My Prediction: Ducks 4 Rangers 2