The Anaheim Ducks get to play in the comfort of their home crowd for the first time since October 20 when they defeated the Dallas Stars 6-3. Their opponent will be the Phoenix Coyotes, who beat the Vancouver Canucks in shootout the night before.
This is the second meeting between the squads, with the Ducks coming out in front in a shootout. Jakob Silfverberg scored the shootout winning goal for the Ducks as Jonas Hiller stopped 30-32 process in the winning effort.
Here is a quick breakdown of how the Coyotes and Ducks breakdown so far this year,
Radim Vrbata is off to a strong start to the season, as he leads the team in both goals (6) and points (13). Defenseman Keith Yandle is known as one of the better offensive defenseman in the league and is living up to it this year, with 11 assist on the short season, tying him with Erik Karlsson for the second most helpers from a defender.
There is no surprise that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are atop the team scoring lead, currently in a tie at 16. Perry leads the Ducks in goals (9) and Getzlaf leads in assists (10). Perry has been riding a hot hand, scoring three goals in the last two games, and four overall on the road trip.
After starting last night, chances are the Ducks will not see Mike Smith tonight in net so that would leave Thomas Greiss in net. Greiss is 2-1 on the season, with a 2.61 GAA and a .925 save percentage. In comparison, Smith has posted a strong line of himself with nine wins (one off the NHL lead) and has posted a 2.79 GAA with a .919 save percentage.
The Ducks have gotten some strong play from both Hiller and rookie Frederik Andersen this season, and you could argue, Andersen outplayed Hiller on the road trip. Despite Andersen’s strong start to the year, Hiller has an even better track record against the Coyotes, going 16-6 with a 2.51 GAA and a .919 save percentage against the Desert Dogs.
Thing To Watch Tonight
Special Teams Battle- Maybe some home cooking will get the Duck’s stagnant power play that went 1-28 on their road trip. Phoenix has the 19th ranked penalty kill, so now could be the perfect time to break out. Maybe overshadowed a bit from the horrible power play but the Duck’s penalty kill hasn’t been anything to write home about, ranking 29th in the league.
The Ducks and Coyotes meet tonight at the Honda Center, 7 pm PT (10 ET).
Anthony Murphy is the Co-Editor at Pucks Of A Feather. You can contact him by email [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @AMurphyTFC