Missing all four of their top four defensemen, the Anaheim Ducks forward core is going to be put to the test with the Toronto Maple Leafs in town.
Cam Fowler, Erik Gudbranson, Hampus Lindholm, and Josh Manson; these four men are the face of the Anaheim Ducks blueline. However, all four of them are out with injuries, with no time table of their return. While each of them has had their share of struggles this season, their presence has been desperately missed and the current state of the Ducks blueline leaves much to be desired, to say the least.
Shockingly, the Anaheim Ducks managed to win their Wednesday night contest against the Colorado Avalanche with a beauty from Rickard Rakell in overtime, ending his long scoring drought. The fourth line had a decent game, getting the Ducks on the scoreboard early. The young guys remained hot, with goals from both Sam Steel and Brendan Guhle.
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The Maple Leafs are currently in the playoff race, but only a few points separate them from the New York Rangers. Any win they can procure will be essential to their playoff journey. The Anaheim Ducks group of forwards is going to be put to the test against a dangerous Maple Leafs offense. Should the Ducks blueline continue to struggle, their only in winning tonight’s game is to find the back of the net as much as they can.
What You Need to Know Before Puck Drop
Game 68: Anaheim Ducks vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Season Record: 27-32-8
Location: Honda Center— Anaheim, California
Time: 7:00 pm PST
TV: Prime Ticket
Anaheim Ducks News: According to Eric Stephens, Josh Manson and Erik Gudbranson were spotted skating with the Ducks this morning.
Anaheim Ducks Betting Odds & Lines
Anaheim Ducks: +151
Toronto Maple Leafs: -175
According to the Action Network, it is not surprising that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the favorites to win tonight’s game. To some, it may seem like sheer luck that the Anaheim Ducks won against Colorado, especially after an embarrassing loss to Chicago just the night before. The Leafs are the superior team in almost all aspects of the game. However, the Ducks have played seemingly well against teams they shouldn’t have played well against. Toronto is playing their second game in a back to back, which will likely spark their chemistry early. But, if the Ducks can take advantage of their exhaustion, they may be able to walk away with a win tonight.
Anaheim Ducks Projected Lineup
"Sonny Milano–Ryan Getzlaf–Danton HeinenRickard Rakell-Adam Henrique–Jakob SilfverbergMax Jones-Sam Steel-Kiefer SherwoodNicolas Deslauriers–David Backes–Carter RowneyJacob Larsson–Michael Del ZottoBrendan Guhle-Matt IrwinChristian Djoos–Jani HakanpaaStarting Goaltender: John GibsonBackup Goaltender: Ryan MillerHealthy Scratch: Simon Benoit, Andrew AgozzinoInjured: Cam Fowler (lower body), Erik Gudbranson (upper body), Hampus Lindholm (upper body), Josh Manson (upper body)"
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
"Zach Hyman–Auston Matthews-Mitchell MarnerWilliam Nylander–John Tavares–Pierre EngvallKyle Clifford–Alexander Kerfoot–Kasperi KapanenDenis Malgin–Frederik Gauthier–Jason SpezzaTravis Dermott–Justin HollMartin Marincin–Tyson BarrieRasmus Sandin–Timothy LiljegrenStarting Goaltender: Jack CampbellBackup Goaltender: Frederik AndersenHealthy Scratch: Calle RosenInjured: Morgan Rielly (fractured foot), Jake Muzzin (fractured hand), Ilya Mikheyev (wrist laceration) Cody Ceci (ankle), Andreas Johnsson (knee)"
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