Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Arizona Coyotes: 11/23/2014


The Anaheim Ducks return to southern California and the Honda Center after a short two-game road trip through Western Canada. The Ducks earned three of four points in the standings, going to the shootout in both contests. The Ducks have points in 10 of their last 12 contests, but they have not won a contest in regulation since November 2nd against the Colorado Avalanche. The Ducks are still atop the Western Conference with 29 standings points, but they need to find a way to close games out in regulation: if the Winnipeg Jets defeat the St. Louis Blues this afternoon, then five points will separate the first place team (Ducks) from the ninth place team (Sharks).

On the forward group, the Ducks added a new face when general manager Bob Murray traded veteran defenseman Bryan Allen to the Montreal Canadiens for winger Rene Bourque. Bourque skated with Ryan Kesler, Kyle Palmieri, and Patrick Maroon in practice yesterday. Bourque, if he plays, will come in for either Maroon or Emerson Etem. Bruce Boudreau juggled the lines, moving Matt Beleskey away from Kesler and putting him on the top-line. With Jay Bouwmeester being scratched for the St. Louis Blues, his streak of 737 games played ending today. Andrew Cogliano now holds the active consecutive games played streak in the NHL, playing in his 562nd consecutive contest on Sunday.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Beleskey – Ryan GetzlafCorey Perry
Bourque/Maroon – Kesler – Palmieri
Cogliano – Nate ThompsonJakob Silfverberg
Etem – Rickard RakellDevante Smith-Pelly

On the Ducks defense, Murray cleared the way for Josh Manson to get more ice time with the trade of Allen. Manson has been playing strong and will move back into the top-four mix, while Sami Vatanen will move back to the third pairing (despite his three-point effort on Thursday). Manson has drawn in six straight games, logging at least 19 minutes of ice time in each. He’s also a +5 in his last four games, which has been a huge boost to a defense that has missed Francois Beauchemin, Mark Fistric, and Ben Lovejoy for stretches. Fistric has been skating with the team and could make a return relatively soon.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Hampus Lindholm – Beauchemin
Cam Fowler – Manson
Clayton Stoner – Vatanen

For the Arizona Coyotes, they are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. There is a logjam of players with the scoring lead for Arizona, as Mikkel Boedker, Shane Doan, and Antoine Vermette all hold a share of the scoring lead with 14 points. Boedker and Doan have seven goals on the season to lead the Coyotes. Doan has been a thorn in the Ducks’ side for years, scoring 33 goals against Anaheim in his career, which is the most any one player has scored against Anaheim. Martin Hanzal will miss the game: he had an assist on the Coyotes’ first goal when the two teams first played on November 7th.

Arizona Coyotes Forward Lines:

Lauri Korpikoski – Vermette – Boedker
Tobias RiederSam Gagner – Doan
Rob KlinkhammerKyle ChipchuraMartin Erat
Brandon McMillanJoe VitaleB.J. Crombeen

On the Coyotes defense, Keith Yandle is the fourth player on the team with 14 points with Boedker, Doan, and Vermette. Yandle’s ten power-play points are only behind Vatanen’s 12 among NHL defensemen. Yandle leads the Coyotes with 12 assists. Oliver Ekman-Larsson has logged huge minutes for the Coyotes, playing 26:20 per game (which is 6th in the NHL). He also has three goals to lead all Coyotes blue-liners. However, Ekman-Larsson has a -12 rating, tied for the fourth worst +/- in the NHL.

Arizona Coyotes Defense Pairings:

Ekman-Larsson – Zbynek Michalek
Yandle – Connor Murphy
David SchlemkoMichael Stone

In net, Frederik Andersen (8-2-4, 2.18 GAA, .918 SV%) will get his eighth consecutive start in net. Andersen has allowed at least three goals in each of his last five starts, going 1-1-2 in those five games with a 3.62 GAA and .853 SV% (the one no-decision was the 6-5 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings that Jason LaBarbera got the win in). Opposing Andersen should be Mike Smith (4-10-1, 3.30 GAA, .890 SV%) after Devan Dubnyk went for the Coyotes in their win last night. Smith beat the Ducks 3-2 in a shootout on November 7th but has not won a decision since, going 0-4-1 with a 3.03 GAA and .894 SV%.

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.