The Anaheim Ducks return home looking to regroup after a close loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. Despite the loss, the Ducks still control their own destiny in the Pacific Division by having one game in hand over the Sharks. Anaheim also owns the tie breaker by having more regulation wins. The Ducks will start a stretch of nine games against non-playoff teams, starting with the Florida Panthers.
Game starts at 5:00 p.m at the Honda Center.
Season Series: 0-1-0
Last Match Up: 3-2 (Nov. 12, 2013)
The last time these two teams met was back on Nov. 12 at the BB&T Center. Andrew Cogliano scored in the opening minute of the game. Hampus Lindholm scored later in the first period and things looked good with the Ducks leading 2-0. The Panthers would get two goals in the second period, one by Shawn Matthias and another by Scottie Upshall. The game was tied going into the third period. Brad Boyes scored the go ahead and eventual game winning goal as the Panthers downed the Ducks 3-2.
Keys to the Game:
1. Early Lead: The Ducks were able to score first in the previous meeting. They need to score first again and keep the pressure on throughout the game.
2. Cycle The Puck: The Ducks need to get the puck in deep in the offensive zone and wear down the Panthers defense.
1. Limit Chances: The Panthers don’t have a loaded lineup of scorers, so they need to keep this game close and limit the Ducks chances in order to win.
2. Penalty Kill: The Panthers have the worst penalty kill in the league only killing 75 percent. They need to stay out of the box against the Ducks.
2. Teemu Selanne has been skating well and almost had two goals in the last game against the Sharks. One goal was disallowed by an early whistle.
1. Scottie Upshall has three goals in his last five games. He leads the Panthers in points with 34.
2. Roberto Luongo has a record just under .500 since being traded from the Vancouver Canucks to the Panthers. The Ducks have had success against him in the past.
Jonas Hiller: 27-11-6 2.40 GAA .914 SV% (Unconfirmed)
Roberto Luongo: 22-20-7 2.39 GAA .919 SV% (Unconfirmed)
45-18-7, 97 points (Last 10: 4-4-2)
26-37-8, 60 Points (Last 10: 4-5-1)
The Ducks have a generous schedule for the next few weeks. They must stay focused and play each game like it’s a playoff game. The opponents the Ducks will face are looking to play the role of spoiler. The Ducks can’t be over-confident because any team can beat another team on any given day.
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