Anaheim Ducks Line Rushes vs. Toronto Maple Leafs: 12/16/2014


The Anaheim Ducks look to extend their seven game winning streak with their third game of a five game road trip in Canada. The Ducks have yet to lose in December, as their winning streak began on December 1st against the Boston Bruins. Anaheim scored eight goals and allowed just three during the back-to-back on Friday and Saturday in Edmonton and Winnipeg, respectively. However, they are facing one of the hottest teams in the NHL in the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have won five straight games and nine of 11 contests.

The Ducks have activated left winger Dany Heatley off Injured Reserve and sent Chris Wagner back to AHL Norfolk. Heatley, despite being activated, will not play for the Ducks. Ryan Getzlaf is coming off consecutive multi-point outings (one goal and assist each, including the game-winning goal in both games), bringing his total to 33 points, which is seventh in the NHL. With a goal against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, Jakob Silfverberg recorded a point for the sixth time in seven games. His 16 points are tied for sixth among Ducks players with Matt Beleskey, who is tied for the team lead in goals with Corey Perry (14). Nate Thompson has scored in consecutive games, including a shorthanded tally against the Jets on Saturday.

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

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Rene Bourque – Getzlaf – Devante Smith-Pelly
Beleskey – Ryan KeslerKyle Palmieri
Andrew CoglianoRickard Rakell – Silfverberg
Patrick Maroon – Thompson – Tim Jackman

On the Ducks defense, Hampus Lindholm recorded his fifth point in six games with an assist on Silfverberg’s power-play goal on Saturday. The Swede also leads the club in +/- with a +12 rating. Colby Robak will draw out of the lineup, while Mark Fistric will come back in and play with Lindholm. In his two games back since breaking a bone in his hand, Ben Lovejoy has two assists and a +3 rating while logging an average of 18:32 in ice time. Lovejoy now has three assists on the season. Francois Beauchemin, who is on Injured Reserve with a broken bone in his hand, could possibly return near the end of the road trip, but he will not play tonight. Beauchemin was injured November 25th while blocking a shot, and he was initially diagnosed to miss six to eight weeks. However, if Beauchemin returns during the road trip (which ends Friday), he will have returned in three and a half weeks.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam Fowler – Lovejoy
Fistric – Lindholm
Clayton StonerSami Vatanen

As for the Maple Leafs, they are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. The Leafs are closing out a three game homestand, and they have won their first two contests against the Detroit Red Wings and the Kings. The Leafs are 18-9-3 on the season, but they are only fourth in the Atlantic Division thanks to the great seasons by the Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Montreal Canadiens. Phil Kessel leads the Leafs with 15 goals, 16 assists, and 31 points. Each member of the Leafs’ top line has 10 goals, 25 points, and 10 power-play points. The Leafs have many former Ducks on their roster, including Daniel Winnik, who leads the team in shorthanded ice time. Peter Holland, who the Ducks traded to the Leafs in November last season, has set career highs with seven goals and 12 points this season. Leo Komarov will miss the game with a concussion.

Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Lines:

James van RiemsdykTyler Bozak – Kessel
Winnik – Holland – Mike Santorelli
Joffrey LupulNazem KadriDavid Clarkson
David BoothTrevor SmithRichard Panik

On the Leafs’ blue-line, Cody Franson leads the unit with five goals and 19 points. Captain Dion Phaneuf has 15 assists, third most on the team behind Kessel and Santorelli. Phaneuf also has a +14 rating, which leads all Maple Leafs defensemen. Stephane Robidas, who the Ducks acquired from the Dallas Stars at last season’s trade deadline, has a +10 rating while playing 17:13 per game. Roman Polak, who the team acquired from the St. Louis Blues in the offseason, has a knee injury and will miss the game. Along with Winnik, Holland, Lupul, and Robidas, the Leafs also have former Duck Jake Gardiner, who signed a five year, $20.25 million extension in the offseason. Gardiner and Lupul were acquired in the deal that sent Beauchemin to Anaheim for his second stint with the team.

Toronto Maple Leafs Defense Pairings:

Phaneuf – Franson
Morgan Rielly – Robidas
Gardiner – Korbinian Holzer

In net, Frederik Andersen (17-4-4, 2.38 GAA, .915 SV%) gets his 19th consecutive start in net. Andersen stopped 27 of 28 shots in getting a win against the Jets. Ilya Bryzgalov is back with the Ducks for his second stint with the team after spending the weekend in Norfolk getting in game shape. Bryzgalov will most likely appear on the back-to-back in Montreal or Ottawa on Thursday or Friday. Opposing Andersen will be Jonathan Bernier (12-6-3, 2.55 GAA, .920 SV%), who is coming off a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. In that win, Bernier stopped 27 of 28 shots.

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.