The Anaheim Ducks are looking to end a four-game losing streak. The Ducks are coming off their worst performance of the season against Calgary on Wednesday night. They are playing the Colorado Avalanche, who opened the season with a 6-1 win over the Ducks.
Season Series: 1-0 Colorado
Last Matchup: 6-1 Colorado (October 2nd, 2013)
The Ducks played the Avalanche opening night in Colorado and almost lost without scoring a goal. They scored a last-minute goal in the game to ruin the shutout bid by goalie Semyon Varlamov. The bigger story was the way the game ended with Avalanche Coach Patrick Roy yelling at Bruce Boudreau through the glass between the benches. Roy would eventually push the glass over toward Boudreau before finally leaving the bench. It should be interesting to see the interaction between the two tonight.
Keys to the Game:
1. Slow starts in the first period have happened too often. The Ducks MUST score first.
2. The power play needs to start producing some goals. The team has struggled on the power play, including giving up two shorthanded goals in the last game.
1. The rebuilding is done, this team can score fast and often. They could get a quick jump on the Ducks in the first period.
2. Four players have 20 or more goals, so the Ducks should expect a balanced attack from the top two lines.
Players to Watch:
Andrew Cogliano scored his 20th goal last game. He is the Ducks third leading goal scorer and he has been hot down the stretch.
Corey Perry has scored goals frequently and is on pace to reach 40 goals this season.
Teemu Selanne will start on the first line with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf. Hopefully the chemistry works well with them together.
Ryan O’Reilly leads their team with 25 goals. He is also dangerous leading the team with 8 power play goals.
Rookie Nathan Mackinnon has 22 goals and has been a serious threat to score on the power play.
Jonas Hiller: 26-10-6 2.34 GAA .915 SV%
Semyon Varlamov 33-12-5 2.44 GAA .926 SV%
The Colorado Avalanche have been on a roll winning seven of their last 10 games. They currently sit in second place of the Central Division. They are only six points behind the St. Louis Blues and they are one point ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks. It is going to be a tight race to see who finishes in first place. The Avalanche are a great team with four players scoring 20 or more goals this year. Those players include Ryan O’Reilly (25 goals), Matt Duchene (22 goals), Nathan MacKinnon (22 Goals), and Paul Stastny (20 Goals). They can roll several dangerous lines over the boards every night.
43-16-7, 93 points (Last 10: 3-5-2)
43-18-5, 91 Points (Last 10: 7-3-0)
This is a redemption game for the Ducks on many levels. They were embarrassed on Wednesday night against the rebuilding Calgary Flames team 7-2. The Avalanche blew out the Ducks in the opening season game 6-1. The Ducks are facing some adversity now and they need to respond tonight!
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