The Anaheim Ducks suffered a crippling loss on Monday to the Dallas Stars during Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarter Finals. It was a night to forget if you were a Ducks fan.
Despite the loss, the Ducks still lead the series by one game over the Stars.
Game Starts: 5:00 p.m.
Last Game: 3-0
The Ducks left goaltender Frederik Andersen out to dry on a couple of plays on Monday. They will need to regroup and come back in order to take this match-up.
Keys to the Game:
Aggressive Play: The Ducks need to stay aggressive, but smart. As Dallas will be sure to continue the physical play, Anaheim needs to keep up with it. The Ducks need to initiate contact, but hold off on getting revenge hits on Dallas. Contact for revenge is usually what the referees catch.
Maintain Blue Line: They need to control and maintain the blue line in Stephane Robidas‘ absence. The defense needs to collapse to the net to stop fast plays by Dallas. They need to keep this control through the neutral zone.
Speed: Dallas needs to increase speed directly to the net to overwhelm the Anaheim defense. They need to speed through the neutral zone on plays where they outnumber the Ducks defense.
Defend the Crease: Part of their success on Monday was to stop all efforts by the Ducks in the crease. They need to continue this in order to take the next match.
Who To Watch:
Corey Perry has been aggressive lately. In the last game he delivered a majority of the hits to Dallas. He is also great at being the aggressor, but drawing penalties for the Stars. Ducks will need this in order to get as many power plays as possible.
Hampus Lindholm, although he is young, has been great on the blue line by making very direct plays to stop the puck from getting to the net. He will need to step it up even more to prevent Dallas from scoring on breakaways or 2-on-1 chances.
Antoine Roussel has been a big aggressor to the Ducks after Robidas left the Stars for Anaheim. He will need to continue to be aggressive, without drawing penalties.
Kari Lehtonen shutout the Ducks on Monday. With his regular stats at a virtual 50/50 he will need to continue to play every angle. If he can do what he did in the last game, he will take another win for the Stars.
Frederik Andersen 2-1-0, 2.67 GAA, .914 SV%
Kari Lehtonen 1-2-0, 2.37 GAA, .923 SV%
The Ducks were crushed in the last game, despite having more shots on goal than the Stars. They need to win this game in order to stop any sort of momentum the Stars can gain by their last win. Anaheim must be more aggressive and turn the game around. The Ducks must come out ramped up, instead of trying to play comeback later.
The Stars have to continue winning in order to end Anaheim’s momentum. They have to split the defense and play a quick, aggressive game.
Both teams need this win as it may dictate the rest of the series.
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