Senators @ Mighty Ducks Preview: OUTATIME

Victor Decolongon

Time circuits on, Flux Capacitor........ fluxing, engine running, ready to gun it to 88 and go back to 1993.

It's throwback night at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, against the team who we beat for the Stanley Cup and Bobby Ryan's first game back since being traded in the summer. It's a nostalgia OVERLOAD!

Keys to the Game: Hope Chris Phillips plays a lot. But you can't count on own goals, so the obvious targets for the Ducks' defense are Erik Karlsson, an ailing Jason Spezza and our old buddy Bobby.

We all know what to expect from Bobby, so it will be interesting to see who has the upper hand between him and the Ducks' defense/goaltending after years of learning each other's tendencies. My money's on Beauch if Bobby tries any of his classic 1-on-1 dekes.

I mentioned Spezza is ailing, because he missed Wednesday's game in Los Angeles with a groin injury. However, last night he played over 20 minutes in the Sens' 3-2 loss to San Jose and assisted on Bobby's power play goal in the first period, so it doesn't appear to be that much of a hindrance. Milan Michalek rounds out Ottawa's top line.

Probably the most dangerous player on the ice for the Senators is Erik Karlsson though. We saw what speed can do to the Ducks' defense on opening night in Colorado and the 2012 Norris Trophy winner brings a lot of it, as well as world class vision and Hockey IQ. The key for the Ducks to shut him down will be to walk the balance beam of pressuring him and forcing him to make mistakes with the puck that catch him up ice, without over committing and letting him blow right by.

What Can We Learn From this Game: The special teams HAVE to get better.... Right? The Ducks currently sit last in the league in both power play and penalty kill percentages (6.7 and 61.5 respectively, OUCH!) Of course, it's too early to panic about glaringly bad numbers, but it doesn't look any better when you're watching it happen. Frankly, I'm shocked that the Rangers didn't completely take over the momentum after the Ducks first PP opportunity on Thursday night when the score was still 1-0. Also 0-for-6 including over a minute of 5-on-3 is pretty disheartening, especially considering how poorly the Rangers were playing.

Fearless Prediction: It's revealed why the Ducks chose a game against Ottawa to have throwback night, when Bobby Ryan presents Paul Kariya with his #9 jersey, telling him that it was always his in a Ray Bourque/Phil Esposito-esque surprise jersey retirement ceremony. What... A guy can dream can't he?

Well, since that's never going to happen, let's take a look at two super cool goalie masks:

Stay tuned to this story stream for potential updates throughout the day, and a stats pack accompanying the official GameThread, shortly before puck drop for in-game comments.

P.S. Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...
Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...
Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...
Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...
Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...
Please let Wild Wing jump through a ring of fire...................

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