The Anaheim Ducks host the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at the Honda Center.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm PT
The Ducks enter tonight’s match-up with a 40-13-5 record and 85 points. They lead the Pacific Division and the league. Jonas Hiller is in net for the Ducks tonight. At 24-8-4 with four shut outs, Hiller has allowed 85 goals this year out of 1015 shots against him. That’s a 2.65 goals against average and a .915 save percentage. Emerson Etem returns for the Ducks tonight as Dave Steckel was reassigned to the Norfolk Admirals. In 26 games with the Ducks this season, Etem has posted six goals for 10 points. Unfortunately, no one on the team is really hot right now. With minima scoring the stats haven’t changed much either. Ryan Getzlaf remains the points leader on the team with 37 assists for 64 points. Corey Perry leads in goals with 29 for 59 points. Nick Bonino, Mark Fistric, and Sheldon Souray all remain out on injured reserve while Viktor Fasth has started taking shots at practice. The biggest thing for the Ducks tonight is to skate face and be aware of every player on the ice. The Blackhawks can, and will, strike at any moment.
The Blackhawks enter tonight’s contest with a record of 34-10-14 and 82 points. They are second in the league behind the Ducks. Corey Crawford, the former Norfolk Admiral, gets the start in net tonight. Crawford has a 21-8-10 record and a huge “5 hole”. He has a 2.42 goals against average and a .914 save percentage. Patrick Kane leads the Blackhawks in scoring with 63 points from 26 goals. Patrick Sharp leads the team in goal with 28 for 57 points. Duncan Keith leads the team in assists with 45 for 48 points. Other dangerous players are, Marian Hossa with 48 points and Jonathan Toews with 54 points. Kris Versteeg has posted four points in the last four games and Brandon Saad has five points in the last five games. Brian Bickel is a player on a mission, he has been fighting to remain on the team; never underestimate the power of desperation. If the Ducks can draw a penalty it will come from Brandon Bollig, who leads the team with 67 penalty minutes. Nikolai Khabibulin is out for the season after having shoulder surgery.
This is going to be a fast game likely to have few penalties or power plays. Tonight is the final meeting of these two teams in regular season, they have each won one game this season. The Blackhawks have the better record over the last 10 games; but the Blackhawks know how to rise to the occasion.