Tonight our Anaheim Ducks (43-14-5) will take on the Montreal Canadiens (34-22-7) at 7 p.m. Pacific Time at Honda Center. Tonight is #SocialMedia night at Honda Center, so get your thumbs ready!
Tonight Jonas Hiller who played 40 out of the 62 games this season, gets the start. Hiller is ranked fifth in the league with 26 total wins for the team.
Currently, the top scorers for 2013-2014 season for the Ducks include Corey Perry (32), Ryan Getzlaf (29), Andrew Cogliano (19) and Nick Bonino (16). All of these mentioned players are noteworthy and should be watched closely tonight. Cogliano continues his iron-man streak and has been ruthless with his speed and breakaways these past few games. Perry and Getzlaf (a.k.a. the twins) are always a threat to the opposing team. It will be interesting not having Dustin Penner on the line with Getzlaf and Perry tonight. As you all know by now, Penner has been traded to the Washington Capitals. In return for an additional trade of Vicktor Fasth, Anaheim has acquired defenseman Stephane Robidas from the Dallas Stars. I am certain that Bruce Boudreau will give him a chance to prove himself and get comfortable with playing with the top dogs like Cam Fowler and Ben Lovejoy tonight. Speaking of which, Mathiew Perreault is set to return on March 14th from his upper body injury that he got blessed with last Friday against the St. Louis Blues. Perreault has 12 goals with the Ducks since his trade from the Washington Capitals bench. Knock on wood because there aren’t any other injuries at the moment for the Ducks.
The Montreal Canadiens are ranked second in the Atlantic Eastern NHL Conference with 34 wins, 22 losses, and 7 overtime games. The Canadiens have a total of 75 points. They have won 16 of their games played away from home, lost 12, and had 2 overtime games on the road.
Dustin Tokarski gets the nod tonight in his Montreal debut; also his first NHL start since the 2011-12 season.
The top scorers for the Canadiens include Max Pacioretty (29), Tomas Plekanec (17), Brendan Gallagher (15), and Brian Gionta (12). The Canadiens lost their last game on Monday, March 3rd against the Los Angeles Kings in Los Angeles. However, on February 27th, right before the Olympic break, the Canadiens beat the Pittsburg Penguins 6-5 in an impressive shoot-out game.
The Canadiens acquired defenseman Mike Weaver from the Florida Panthers, which will help them with depth and stability.
Carey Price has been recovering from an injury that he received upon his return from the Olympics. He is considered day-to-day at this point and it is not for sure that he will be making an appearance in tonight’s contest. Brandon Prust has also suffered an upper-body injury and is not in shape to play against the Ducks tonight. It will be fun seeing ex-Duck George Parros back at Honda Center. Parros and his legendary moustache have only played 18 games, with no goals and one assist. After all, he is just an enforcer and a “violent gentleman”.
The Ducks and Canadiens will meet for the second of two meetings of this 2013-2014 season. The Canadiens won the last contest against the Ducks 4-1 at the Bell Centre back on October 24th, 2013. There are no harsh feelings between these two teams, considering that Saku Koivu spent his first 13 years of his NHL career with the Habs. The Canadiens and Ducks have only met to compete a total of 23 times since the Mighty Ducks’ franchise induction back in 1993. The Canadiens have won 11 of those occasions, including 5 of those times being in Montreal.
The key to winning this game for the Ducks is for them to play like they mean it and demonstrate that they are the number one team in the NHL. They will need to watch defenseman P.K. Subban and forward Max Pacioretty with their recent goal hot streaks. The Ducks are going to be experiencing some changes in their lines with their new D-man joining the crew, and Penner leaving to Washington. So tonight the Ducks need to play a normal, decent, uncomplicated hockey game and earn some more points to secure their #1 spot in all the league.
Let’s go Ducks!