Ducks Look to Cure Sluggish Opening Night Record Tonight Against Penguins


Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

In the past twenty years of the existence of the Anaheim Ducks franchise, the team has gone 5-15-0 in its season openers with sixteen of the games being on the road.

The Ducks will look to start off the 2014-2015 campaign on a high note and hope to break the sluggish opening season record that the team possesses.

The Ducks will begin the season on a four-game road trip in six days, facing off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight, the Detroit Red Wings on October 11, the Buffalo Sabres on October 13, and the Philadelphia Flyers on October 14.

While the Ducks are excited to start the year after a disappointing end to last season, the team has injury concerns.

Left wing Dany Heatley was placed on Injured Reserve, while right wing Kyle Palmieri and defensemen Shea Theodore and Sheldon Souray have all been placed on Injured Non-Roster.

Despite the fact that coach Bruce Boudreau and Ducks medical staff have cleared Cam Fowler to play for the Ducks, it is ultimately a game-time decision for the 22 year-old defenseman.

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“You want to be at 100 percent and you don’t want to do any harm to yourself or to the team either,” Fowler said. “You have to be at full capacity when you play these games. So, we’re going to make sure everything falls into place and we’ll see how things go [Thursday].”

Penguins goal scorer Evgeni Malkin is also expected to return to the lineup tonight, who was sidelined for the majority of training camp due to an undisclosed injury. Malkin notched 72 points in 60 played games in what was an injury-stricken 2013-2014 season for the Russian forward.

Today marks the beginning of a new era in Ducks goaltending, as coach Boudreau will give the nod to the 21 year-old Pittsburgh native, John Gibson, who spent most of last season with the Norfolk Admirals in the American Hockey League.

According to the Ducks Twitter page, Gibson is expected to have over 200 friends and family in attendance for his season debut in his hometown.

Here are the projected lineups, per


Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist

Pascal Dupuis – Brandon Sutter – Evgeni Malkin

Nick Spaling – Marcel Goc – Blake Comeau

Steve Downie – Zach Sill – Craig Adams

Christian Ehrhoff – Kris Letang

Olli Maatta – Paul Martin

Rob Scuderi – Simon Despres

Marc-Andre Fleury

Thomas Greiss

Injured: Beau Bennett (lower body), Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Andrew Ebbett


Patrick Maroon – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kesler – Jakob Silfverberg

Emerson Etem – Rickard Rakell – Devante Smith-Pelly

Matt Beleskey – Nate Thompson – Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy

Francois Beauchemin – Hampus Lindholm

Clayton Stoner – Sami Vatanen

John Gibson

Frederik Andersen

Injured: Dany Heatley (groin), Kyle Palmieri (ankle)

Scratched: William Karlsson, Bryan Allen, Mark Fistric

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